ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart revealed on Tuesday that senior defense tackle Julian Rochester will likely be coming back for a fifth season.
Rochester, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2018 postseason, didn’t make his first appearance this season until the fifth game of the season against Tennessee.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound senior from Mableton, Ga.., had two tackles and a TFL against the Vols.
“He did a great job in the Tennessee game,” Smart said. “Jordan (Davis) went down and he filled it. He’s done a great job contributing.”
Rochester isn’t expected to play when the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs play host to No. 24 Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, though he is available.
A new NCAA rule instituted last year allows players to appear in up to four games and not lose a year of eligibility, and Smart said Georgia has been considering that in Rochester’s case throughout the season.
“That’s kind of what we’ve been working towards,” Smart said. “It’s not set yet because we don’t know how many games we’ve got left.”
Rochester also played in the Bulldogs win over Florida in Jacksonville.
With nose guards Jordan Davis and Michael Barnett both healthy, Georgia may not need to use Rochester the remainder of the season.
At the very least, Smart can be selective and help the senior maintain his eligibility and have a full, healthy final season at Georgia in 2020.
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