Some pretty interesting news came out of Happy Valley this weekend as Penn State freshman Daiquan Kelly was dismissed from the Nittany Lions for a violation of team rules. What exactly the safety/linebacker prospect did remains unspecified, but it was apparently enough to get him booted from the team. Why should Syracuse University football fans care? Well, because before committing to PSU, Kelly was an Orange commit. So the question is: should Syracuse pursue the talented player?
Rated a 3-star prospect by 247sports.com, the 6-foot-2, 194 pound New Jersey native committed to the Orange last June, before de-committing in September. Kelly’s flip was especially noteworthy, because he was on an official visit to Rutgers when he decided to switch from the Orange, not to his host team for the weekend, but to Penn State. Yeah, this is a kid who took an official visit to the Scarlet Knights and, while they were paying his way, committed to a different school on their campus. Syracuse fans hate Rutgers as much as the next guy, but that’s still pretty cold blooded.
Given that bit of brashness along with the fact that he was booted from the Nittany Lions before ever setting foot on the field should probably raise up some red flags, especially since the Orange just dismissed a player of their own, Ashton Broyld. The difference there, of course, is that Broyld was a long term member of the Orange and, if the buzz about his dismissal is true, was given multiple opportunities to right the ship and simply couldn’t get his act together. With Kelly, there’s a very real possibility that it could be a one time mistake.
So why would Penn State have booted Kelly after a simple mistake? Well, until we know exactly what transpired, it’s hard to say. But as Kelly was pretty far down the line in terms of most prized recruits in the 2015 class for James Franklin, and the Nittany Lions are pushing their scholarship numbers pretty close to the limit, it’s at least plausible that he was made an example of because the coaching staff viewed him as expendable. If that’s the case, it may be worth pursuing the talented young player, particularly given the continued murkiness of Marquise Blair’s situation.
Since Kelly is a true freshman and was booted before camp even opened, then he should be able to enroll at a new school and play immediately, from what I understand. With a spot potentially open given Blair’s situation, and the Syracuse staff’s familiarity with Kelly and his ability, don’t be surprised to see the Orange at least investigate the situation. Whether anything comes of it remains to be seen, of course.