ATHENS - The Georgia football team will now be without both Ogletree brothers in 2013.
Fullback Zander Ogletree's football career at Georgia has ended because of unspecified medical reasons, according to a release by the school on Wednesday. Ogletree will remain on scholarship and continues to take classes at UGA.
Head coach Mark Richt did not elaborate much when asked about Ogletree later that afternoon.
"He's got a medical issue and he can't play anymore," Richt said. "But he's gonna stay in school. We hope he does well in school and graduates."
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Zander accompanied his twin brother Alec to Georgia in 2010, and while he didn't become a star like his brother, Zander was a contributor off-and-on for the offense. In three years, he had 7 carries for 37 yards and 5 catches for 32 yards. It's not a huge stat line, but he did have a couple highlights, including the longest run by a fullback during the 2011 season (21 yards at Georgia Tech) and a 10-yard catch at Auburn this past season.
Both Ogletree brothers were suspended the first four games of the 2012 season, for what sources said was a second violation of the UGA student-athlete drug policy. When they returned, Alec Ogletree, an inside linebacker, had a spectacular season, leading the team in tackles and rocketing up NFL draft boards. He announced minutes after the Capital One Bowl that he was leaving early for the NFL draft.
Now Zander will also be gone from the team, at least playing-wise, but remains in school, and the team said he's on track to graduate.
A Georgia team spokesman said there wasn't a firm answer yet on whether Ogletree still counted towards the team's 85-man scholarship limit. The team currently has 64 players who came to school on scholarship, including Ogletree and Kolton Houston (who is NCAA ineligible) and the 13 early enrollees. And there are 20 more signees due to arrive this summer.
So while the team is under the 85 limit, the question is how many scholarships would still be available to walk-ons who have previously been awarded them, such as fullback Merritt Hall, safety Connor Norman and tailback Brandon Harton.
Hall, a former walk-on, and rising sophomore Quayvon Hicks are expected to be the team's top two options at fullback this season. Hall was the starter for most of the season, impressing coaches with his blocking and tenacity.