ATHENS - Before this season Shaquille Fluker was considered a candidate to start at safety. Now the junior college transfer will leave Georgia without having played a down.
Fluker is transferring after being upset with his lack of playing time, he said in an interview on Tuesday. He also disputed having a medical issue that prevented him from playing, saying that while he suffered a seizure during a late September practice, he could have played anyway.
Fluker is seeking to continue his football career at another school.
"It was things not going the way they were supposed to when I went there," said Fluker, who is now home in Mississippi mulling his next option. "I didn't get my PT, didn't get on the field (in the preseason). I didn't even get the (jersey) number I was supposed to get. But I wasn't going to go off that, so I waited to the season, see whether I was gonna get my playing time through the season, and I didn't even get that like I was supposed to. So I just went on and redshirted myself and looked for somewhere else to play."
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Fluker was rated a four-star prospect this year coming out of East Mississippi Community College. He was hoping to push for a starting spot in Georgia's depleted secondary in the preseason, but he suffered back spasms in August, and then the seizure the next month.
After September, Georgia listed Fluker as being out because of illness. But Fluker downplayed his medical condition as a reason.
"The only injury I had was the back spasms. That's it," Fluker said.
The seizure was due to a lack of fluids in his system, according to Fluker, who claimed he was good to play as long as he kept his fluids up. That September seizure was the last time he said he had a seizure.
"I knew what was happening with my body. It was just my body having a lack of water fluids," Fluker said. "I was good to play. So I wouldn't say it was (any) illness. I knew I had to keep water fluids in my body."
Georgia spokesman Claude Felton said the team was prevented from speaking about Fluker's medical status because of HIPAA, the 1996 health privacy law.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt, who was not due to meet with the media until after Wednesday's practice, released a statement after Tuesday's practice confirming Fluker's departure. Richt did not cite medical reasons.
"Many times transferring to another school is for the best and we certainly wish Shaquille nothing but success in achieving his academic and athletic goals," Richt said.