Athens - Austin Long’s football career at Georgia is over.
The beleaguered senior offensive lineman from Memphis has lost his academic eligibility, persons familiar with the situation told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Long has not practiced with the Bulldogs during preseason camp while appealing his matter. Word came late Wednesday that his appeal was unsuccessful.
Georgia spokesperson Claude Felton said the school had no announcements planned regarding Long’s status as of Thursday afternoon. Earlier this week coach Mark Richt said he hoped to have news by Wednesday. But he said he had “nothing to report” after Wednesday’s late-night scrimmage.
Long , 22, came to UGA as one of the most highly-touted members of the 2009 recruiting class. He graduated from Briarcrest Christian in Memphis as a consensus high school All-American and 5-star prospect as an offensive tackle. But he underwent two back surgeries before ever taking a snap for the Bulldogs. He also was sidelined for an extended period with mononucleosis and suffered a broken hand during bowl practices last December. Long ends his college career having appeared in 15 games with zero starts.
With Chris Burnette sidelined with shoulder surgery, Long (6-foot-5, 287 pounds) had emerged from spring practice listed as the starting right guard. But his eligibility issue arose over the summer and he has been unable to practice at all in preseason camp.
Burnette is slated to start but continues to be used cautiously as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. Kolton Houston, John Theus and Watts Dantzler have all been working at right guard when Burnette doesn’t practice.
Long’s brother Hunter, a redshirt sophomore, is also an offensive lineman for the Bulldogs and remains on the team.