It was just a few days ago I said there are two things that never get old to me. One was players finding out they have been put on scholarship, as Minnesota defensive lineman Sam Renner learned in the middle of the Gophers’ spring game. The other was when those serving in our nation’s military surprise their family with a reunion. On Saturday, prior to Florida State’s spring game in Tallahassee, lineman Derrick Kelly was given that special moment.
Kelly was treated to a video message on the scoreboard in Doak Campbell Stadium from his brother, Navy officer Derrickus Kelly. Kelly’s message to his brother started off as an apology for not being able to be in attendance. Of course, this was just a setup to the ultimate surprise; Derrickus Kelly taking to the field from the north end zone to greet his brother as fans stood and applauded.
“We cried a little bit out there,” Derrickus said, per The Orlando Sentinel. “I haven’t seen him in two years. There were times when all I felt like I had was my brothers. So it felt good.”
The emotions of the moment were not lost on anyone, including new Florida State head coach Willie Taggart.
“It was special,” Taggart said. “I teared up myself. I can only imagine what [Derrick] goes through every day probably praying for his brother to come back home safe.”