ATHENS — Georgia reserve offensive lineman Sam Madden is leaving the team to pursue a medical disqualification.
Madden had not been at practice this spring. He joined the team in 2015 and did not see the field over the next three seasons.
Coach Kirby Smart confirmed after practice Saturday that Madden would seek a medical DQ, which would allow him to stay on scholarship at UGA but not count toward the team’s NCAA limit of 85.
“Sam’s been dealing with a medical issue, and we feel it’s in his best interest from a medical standpoint to no longer play football,” Smart said. “His health and safety is our greatest concern, and we’re applying for a medical exemption.”
Madden was a member of the 2015 recruiting class, signing out of Barnegat High School in Barnegat, N.J. He was rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports, and a 3-star by Rivals, Scout and ESPN.
While Madden offered size (6-foot-6 and 334 pounds), he redshirted his first season and was on the scout team the next two seasons.
“He’ll continue to be with the team, work with the team, whether it’s in the weight room, or video staff, he’ll help us in other ways,” Smart said. “He’s done a tremendous job since being here, and we’re moving forward that way.”
If Madden does receive the medical disqualification, Georgia will be committed to 88 scholarships for the 2018 season. That of course assumes that all signees qualify, and even then the team would not have to get down to 85 scholarships until this summer.
Madden is the third offensive lineman from the 2015 signing class to take a medical disqualification: Sage Hardin did last year and Mirko Jurkovic did the same year he signed.
Pat Allen, who started one game at right guard last year, is the only remaining offensive lineman from the 2015 signing class.