Former Penn State linebacker Daiquan Kelly, who was dismissed from the team last week following a “violation of team rules,” will transfer to UMass according to a report from NJ.com.
“He’s going to sign with UMass,” his former high school coach, Wil Valdez, told NJ.com on Tuesday.
“He’s going to leave on Saturday morning to go over there and I think it’s a great spot for him. He’ll go there, redshirt, and then have the opportunity to start as a redshirt freshman.”
Kelly is 6-foot-3 and weighed in at around 200 pounds upon arrival at Penn State six weeks ago. Valdez told NJ.com they immediately starting contacting other programs upon news of Kelly’s dismissal.
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“Like I told you yesterday, Daiquan is not a bad kid,” Valdez told NJ.com. “He’s just a kid who made a mistake. Now it’s on him to take advantage of his second opportunity. He now has the chance to get a good education and play for a good football team.”
Valdez also said several schools they reached out to were interested in Kelly in the original recruiting process, but because he had been dismissed as a freshman, many “didn’t want to touch him.”
With UMass, however, Valdez said Kelly “hit it off” with the coaches on the phone.
Kelly has not commented on the situation further than a statement he released two hours after his dismissal was announced by Penn State Athletics.
“I love the staff and teammates at Penn State and always will!” He wrote. “That is family!!! Right now I am focussed (sic) on getting back in the classroom & onto the football field so I can flip the page to another chapter of my life and continue to pursue my passion and dream of getting a degree and playing football at the collegiate level.”
Kelly is the first Penn State scholarship player both recruited and signed by head coach James Franklin to leave the team, and the third to leave due to “violation of team policy” or discipline reasons since early 2014.
More updates to come.