ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia State freshman quarterback Mikele Colasurdo will not be able to play this season after being diagnosed with a heart condition related to COVID-19.

Colasurdo announced the diagnosis Thursday on his Twitter account, depriving the Panthers of a top prospect who enrolled in the spring and was expected to contend for the starting position.

Georgia State is looking to replace Dan Ellington, who started the past two seasons and led the team to a memorable upset of Tennessee in the 2019 opener. The Panthers finished 7-6, losing to Wyoming in the Arizona Bowl.

“I am very thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed for me,” Colasurdo wrote Thursday in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “Ultimately it was the procedures and tests set forth by GSU that allowed the doctors to find this condition in my heart and help keep me safe. I am very thankful.”

Georgia State declined comment, citing privacy laws.

Though Colasurdo didn’t specify what condition he is dealing with, several athletes have been stricken with Myocarditis, a disease associated with the coronavirus that causes inflammation of the heart. Several conferences that decided not to play this fall mentioned the disease as a potential risk of returning to the playing field during a pandemic.

Georgia State, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, is set to open the season Sept. 19 against Louisiana after its first two games were canceled by the opponents for coronavirus-related reasons.

A native of Inman, South Carolina, Colasurdo led Chapman High School to a 15-0 record and the Class AAA state championship last season. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and accounted for 36 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing scores.

“I can't wait to watch my team compete this fall and I could not be more excited to return for the 2021 season!” Colasurdo wrote. “Go Panthers!”


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