4Quartersonline.com received news from Jefferson County head coach Jeremy Brown that standout senior running back DeVondrick Nealy would be cleared to play this Friday as the Florida High School Athletic Association’s governing body reduced Nealy’s suspension from four games to one. “Once [the FHSAA] sees the tape I think they will realize that DeVondrick’s actions were purely unintentional.”, Brown said in an interview with 4Quartersonline.com last Thursday.
Late in the 4th quarter of Jefferson County’s season opener at Chiles, Nealy was tackled after a short gain and while struggling to get leverage on the bottom of the pile Nealy raised his leg making contact with a Chiles defenders helmet. Upon the officials review, Nealy was promptly ejected from the game for kicking another player. It was a sour note on an otherwise exciting night for Nealy, who scored 5 touchdowns, and the Tigers, who won 32 – 23.
Coach Brown later stated, “DeVondrick definitely understands what the situation is and certainly there were things he could have done to control his actions… But ultimately he’s a good kid.” Many coaches in the area, including Chiles head coach Barney Myers, felt that the FHSAA’s original four game suspension was too harsh. “I spoke with coach Myers after the game,” Brown said, “he told me that he would speak on DeVondricks behalf if necessary. We’re really glad and grateful that he recognizes the situation and would be willing to do that for us.”
DeVondrick Nealy is expected to play for the Tigers on Friday night, when Jefferson County travels to Wewahitchka high school to take on the Gators.