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Georgia TE Pearce Spurlin retiring from football due to medical condition

On3 imageby:Jake Rowe03/12/24

JakeMRowe

ATHENS, Ga. — After just one season of college ball, Georgia tight end Pearce Spurlin is hanging up the cleats. Kirby Smart announced Tuesday at UGA spring practice media day that Spurlin has a medical condition that is ending his football career.

“He’s going to have to take a medical disqualification,” Smart said. “He will no longer be able to play football”

Georgia also released a statement once Smart’s press conference was over. It provides more detail on Spurlin’s decision to give up football.

“Spurlin has a congenital heart condition that representatives from Georgia were aware of and that they have closely monitored. Over time and after discussion and counseling with medical specialists, Spurlin and his family have made the decision that he will no longer play. He will remain on scholarship, continue with his studies at Georgia and work with the football team in another role”

“We care deeply for Pearce and he will remain on scholarship and part of our program,” Smart said. “Our tight ends coach Todd Hartley and the other tight ends hate for a person and a player like Pearce to not be part of their room, and they will continue to provide him with the support he needs as he goes through this transition.”

Spurlin signed with Georgia in its No. 2-ranked 2023 recruiting class and enrolled early. He finished that cycle as the nation’s No. 68 overall prospect and the No. 2 tight end in America per the On3 Industry Rankings, a weighted average that includes all four of the websites that publish recruiting rankings. He was the No. 17 prospect in the state of Florida.

His freshman season at UGA saw him play in six games, catching three passes for 60 yards. Spurlin battled multiple injuries during his first season at Georgia. He suffered a broken collarbone approximately a year ago. He sustained that injury in the Bulldogs’ first padded practice of the spring and had surgery, missing the final six practices and three scrimmages, including G-Day.

When Georgia began preseason camp in August of 2023, Spurlin had gotten over that injury and appeared in the first two games of the season before getting dinged up again. With Spurlin missing time and fellow freshman tight end Lawson Luckie dealing with a high-ankle sprain, Georgia had just two healthy scholarship tight ends at times during the first half of the season.

The Walton High School (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) product was healthy for the last half of the season. Spurlin caught a career-long 31-yard pass in the Bulldogs drubbing of Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl to end the year.

With Spurlin no longer available, Georgia has five tight ends. The Bulldogs are left with Oscar Delp, a junior, and Luckie, a sophomore, from last year’s team. They also signed two tight ends in the 2024 class in four-star Jaden Reddell and three-star Colton Heinrich. UGA also reached into the transfer portal this winter and got Ben Yurosek from Stanford, who will join the team this summer.

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