College Football Star Ryan Deluca Comes Out, Finds Great Support

Sunday December 5, 2021
Originally published on December 3, 2021

A Furman University football player came out publicly as gay on Instagram Thursday, less than two weeks after his final game with the school, writes Outsports.

"I've been wanting to come out for a while now," Ryan Deluca, a wide receiver, wrote on Instagram. "I think I'm finally ready and I'm proud of it. I want to thank everyone who knows and has supported me to this point, you all mean a lot to me. Thank you to the one that makes me smile."

In the first 21 hours of his post, he got more than 1,100 likes. He immediately got supportive messages from current and former teammates, including Cam Burnette who played at Furman with Deluca until 2018, when he transferred to East Carolina, DT Matt Sochova, and fellow wide receiver Noah Henderson.

"I wasn't expecting the kind of reaction I got," Deluca told Outsports via phone. "It was awesome. Almost every single one of my teammates, and almost everyone I've come in contact with at college, gave me love. And I didn't expect it, that's for sure."

Support also came from Furman. "Ryan's been a great student, player, teammate, and friend to everybody in our program and on campus," said head football coach at Furman Clay Hendrix. "We love him and support him — always have and always will."

Deluca grew up in a small South Carolina town and realized he was gay in h high school, but didn't come to accept it until his sophomore year in college. "The last couple of years have involved some "secret" dating. He even came out to two teammates he trusted a couple years ago," adds Outsports.

"Between all of that and a late-night trip through gay Tinder, a rumor started amongst teammates that Deluca might be game, a rumor he dismissed"

And in his Instagram post, he mentioned "the one that makes me smile," whom Outsports identifies as his boyfriend, "whom he met on Instagram after sending him a direct message one night when he found some 'courage' to hit send. That was almost two years ago. Deluca has taken a staffing job in Las Vegas and will be moving there to be with his boyfriend next year."