Dorsey’s parents unaware of any pre-existing condition

TALLAHASSEE – By all accounts, Keeley Dorsey lived his life by the motto tattooed on his back: “Enjoy life today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come.”

The USF freshman running back died Jan. 17 after collapsing during a routine weightlifting workout.

“He really tried to live his life that way, achieving his dreams,” Dorsey’s stepfather Claude Terrell said Tuesday. “He made us proud. If you look around, you’ll see people who come to pay their respects, and they’ll tell you how he touched their lives, just like he touched ours. He was our baby boy.”

Dorsey’s mother, Tammie Dorsey, and Terrell talked to reporters Tuesday at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee – Keeley’s alma mater – and said they were not aware of a pre-existing condition that could have caused the collapse. They also said the official cause of death would not be established until autopsy results were made available in six weeks.

“I talked to him that day,” Terrell said. “I called him. He told me he was going to get some lunch and go workout. I told him I loved him. Everything was normal. We were going down to see him this weekend at a banquet. We talked about (having) a quiz in one of his classes, and he got a 90 on it. I told him I was proud of him.”

Dorsey was weightlifting with his roommates and a trainer when he unexpectedly collapsed and was taken to University Community Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:34 p.m.

Dorsey graduated from Lincoln in 2006. He was accepted to USF and played as a true freshman in eight games for the Bulls.

“Keeley loved football,” Tammie Dorsey said through tears. “Football was everything to Keeley. Football was like breathing. It was his first love. When he got accepted to USF that was the happiest day of his life.”

His hopes for the future extended beyond USF, as he one day planned to play in the NFL. He also had a goal of beginning a training business to help student-athletes make it to the next level.

“When people remember Keeley, I want you to remember what he stood for and what he strived for,” Dorsey said. “He strived to be the best that he could be.”

A memorial will be held on campus at the Corral on Thursday at 4 p.m. The funeral will take place Saturday in Tallahassee.

“We love him and we miss him,” Terrell said. “We’ve always got him in our heart.”