Former PSU kicker Joey Julius speaks out about eating disorder

Julius said he decided to disclose his eating disorder publicly after discussing it with family, friends and the team. (AP photo)

UNIVERSITY PARK - Former Penn State kicker Joey Julius left the football team a few months before the current season.

Julius said he's been struggling with an eating disorder since he was 9 years old and called the disorder his "secret struggle".

Julius was a Big Ten athlete for two years, but his image haunted him and his peers harassed him.

While on the team, he was nicknamed "Big Toe" and was best known for his aggressive play on kick returns — something counter intuitive for most kickers. The spotlight, however, became too much for him. In May of 2016 Julius was diagnosed with a binge eating disorder.

"It consumed every thought of every play in every game," said Julius. "I cared about how I looked on the field at all times. I can't go back to a game where I didn't think about it."

Since leaving the team this summer, Julius said he is fully focused on recovery.

On Monday, Julius kicked off Penn State's "Mental Heath and Wellness Week" sponsored by UPUA. Julius gave his testimony to dozens of students hoping to help young men and women going through similar challenges.

"It's not something that affects just one person," said Julius. "This affects almost everyone and the numbers are too high."

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