Promising Penn State offensive lineman has career cut short by genetic heart condition

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
Nana Asiedu

Nana Asiedu — a promising prospect in Penn State's 2018 recruiting class — will never play a down for the Nittany Lions.

Asiedu, a true freshman offensive lineman, announced late Wednesday night that a genetic heart condition will keep him from playing football.

"These past couple of weeks have been the toughest time in my life," Asiedu wrote in a statement posted to his personal Twitter account. "This hurts because football was my everything."

The four-star talent will still be a part of the Penn State program. According to Asiedu's statement, head coach James Franklin will keep the signee on full scholarship.

"With love and support from Coach Franklin and the Penn State staff, I'll still be on full football scholarship and still be a part of the team in every aspect," Asiedu said. "This is one reason why I chose Penn State because of the security, and they'll never go back on their word."

While offensive linemen rarely play in their first season, Asiedu was expected to be a starter down the road. The Virginia native was the No. 8 offensive tackle in his class, according to 247 Sports, and landed on the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl roster.

Asiedu's condition — hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — can be dangerous. According to the American Heart Association's website, "It is rare, but some people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can have sudden cardiac arrest during very vigorous physical activity."

Despite the bad news for Asiedu and Penn State, the lineman is hoping a silver lining will emerge.

"This is truly a curse and a blessing," Asiedu wrote. "I just thank god for giving me this opportunity that I will never take for granted."

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy overview by the Mayo Clinic