Georgia Tech will need to replace two starters in 2018.
The team announced Tuesday that defensive back A.J. Gray and offensive tackle Jake Stickler would retire from football because of injuries. Stickler’s reason for retirement was undisclosed and the school said Gray was forced to retire because of heart issues.
“I’m extremely saddened for A.J., Jake and our team but, in the big picture, health always trumps football,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said in a statement. “I’m grateful that A.J. and Jake will be able to continue to attend Georgia Tech and earn their degrees.”
Both players will remain on scholarship with the team but since they won’t continue playing their scholarships won’t count against the 85-scholarship limit. They were set to be seniors in 2018.
Gray was the team’s starting free safety in 2016 and 2017. He was the team’s third-leading tackler with 54 tackles and had two interceptions and a sack. In 2016 he had 72 tackles. Stickler was the team’s starting right tackle for 10 games in 2017.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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