ATHENS — Georgia sophomore defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter is eligible to play this week against Vanderbilt, head coach Kirby Smart confirmed on Tuesday.
“We’re excited to have him back him,,” Smart said. “How much he’ll play will depend on how (he practices this week.)”
Ledbetter served a six-game suspension, the amount dictated under UGA policy for two alcohol-related arrests. But it was never clear whether the first arrest applied, as the district attorney declined to prosecute. Ledbetter was arrested for underage drinking and false ID, but the D.A. didn’t think the search would stand.
Then Ledbetter was arrested in early July for DUI, when found asleep at the wheel early of a non-moving in the morning. The next day, Smart and UGA announced that Ledbetter would be receiving treatment for a “serious problem,” and for a time Ledbetter was not on the team’s official 125-man roster, and missed some preseason practice.
Since about mid-August, however, Ledbetter has been practicing. And just prior to Sunday’s game at South Carolina, which Ledbetter did not suit up for, he posted a picture on Twitter of himself in uniform with one word: “Anticipation.”
Ledbetter was working first team in the spring before his first arrest. In his absence, freshman David Marshall has emerged as a productive defensive end, but Ledbetter will be given a chance to join what’s become a crowded rotation on the line. As many as eight D-linemen have played in games this season.