Offensive lineman Brent Benedict's brief career at UGA has now prematurely ended.
Benedict has opted to leave the Bulldogs "for personal reasons," UGA coach Mark Richt announced Sunday. No additional explanation was given by the university, though medical issues could have forced the redshirt freshman to give up the sport.
A highly promising recruit from Jacksonville, Fla., Benedict suffered a severe and tragic knee injury during his senior year of high school. Nerve damage was involved, leaving it questionable as to whether Benedict could continue his football career on the next level.
He redshirted last season and was able to return to practice full-speed prior to the Liberty Bowl. But Benedict, still dealing with the impact of the injury, was not progressing enough to challenge for a starting role this spring.
“Really a tremendous high school football player,” Richt said last month, “but he has an injury where he gets not only an ACL, but he gets nerve damage, and he’s having trouble triggering his foot. He’s trying to recover from that."
Despite the injury, this was not a case of a player taking a medical hardship to end his career.
UGA has said that it would grant Benedict a release to transfer to another institution should he wish to continue his playing career.