The kicker shared his story via Facebook this week.
On Monday morning, Penn State kicker Joey Julius released a public statemvent via Facebook that he was admitted to a St. Louis center earlier this year for treatment of an eating disorder. From May 9th to July 26th, Julius sought treatment for binge eating following and shared with his followers and friends not only his reasons for seeking help, but offered to help anyone, “guy or girl,” who feels they may suffer from the same affliction.
At 2:44 AM Monday, Julius posted the following statement on his Facebook wall:
Julius, a redshirt sophomore, was brought on by Penn State to serve as both field goal kicker and kickoff specialist, but as his production slipped Tyler Davis took over as the Nittany Lionis’ field goal kicker, while Julius remains on kickoffs. He had missed both spring and summer practices this year for unknown reasons, but it’s now clear that his treatment program precluded him from working out with the teams for both sessions.
Penn State coach James Franklin stated that Julius enjoys the full support of both him and the Penn State football program, offering to the campus newspaper The Daily Collegian, "We are very proud of Joe and fully support him as he deals with these personal matters. However, as is our policy, we do not discuss the medical affairs of our student-athletes. We ask for others to be supportive and respectful, as well!"
At 258 pounds, Julius is one of the largest kickers in college football and has made a name for himself by running down the field and laying out bone-crushing hits on returners on at two ocassions, both of which made national highlight reels.
Here’s one such play against Kent State earlier this season:
He didn’t disclose in his Facebook post or elsewhere what his impetus was for posting the message. The National Eating Disorders Association states that 2% of men suffer from binge eating, making it the most common disorder in the U.S.
Julius’ size and aggresion in pursuing the ball carrier after the kickoff has given oppsoing special teams coaches fits this season. Michigan special teams coach Jay Harbaugh said of Julius, "That guy is surprisingly a very good cover guy. Credit to him -- he's a big, stout cover guy you really have to account for, which is unfortunate. You usually like to be able to ignore the kickers."
There appears to be no change in Julius’ role on the team, and he’s expected to continue his duties on kickoffs as he has before.