ATHENS - Merritt Hall, projected to be Georgia's starting fullback this year, has seen his playing career end because of concussions.
Hall received a medical disqualification, quarterback Hutson Mason confirmed after Wednesday's practice. That means that Hall remains on scholarship his final two years while not counting against Georgia's scholarship cap.
Hall started seven games at fullback over the past two years.
"Merritt said it wasn't necessarily how many concussions he has, it was how he responded to the last concussions, the symptoms he was having, they kind of threw a red flag about," Mason said.
Mason said he spoke to Hall Tuesday on the bus ride back from the team's trip to the Ramsey aquatic center.
"He was pretty upset about it. He said he wanted to stay involved as much as he could without having to coach," Mason said, with a laugh. "You just feel bad for the kid. And you just realize how tough a position that is, you're kind of just sacrificing your body and your head. Those concussions are so serious."
The team reacted to the news earlier this week by moving freshman Detric Bing-Dukes to fullback from inside linebacker. Bing-Dukes said it was a one-year move, and he planned to move back to defense next year.
"He's just kind of like a natural, bringing his hips forward," tailback Todd Gurley said. "He was at linebacker so most of the time his hips were out when he was taking a block or something like that. He's been doing a good job of bringing his hips, and just running through."
Walk-ons Taylor Maxey and Christian Payne (who also moved over from linebacker) have also been getting practice reps at fullback.
"I believe in everybody," Gurley said. "We've got about 12 more practices. So guys will be a lot better in 12 practices."
Quayvon Hicks, who split time with Hall the past two years, has continued to work with the tight ends. But he also expects to get work at fullback during the season.
"I wouldn't doubt it," Hicks said after Wednesday's practice. "But my primary focus right now is getting technique down and stuff at tight end."