Georgia’s already-precarious situation on the offensive line just got more precarious.
Brent Benedict, a redshirt freshman offensive lineman from Jacksonville and a former five-star recruit, left the team due to “personal reasons,” head coach Mark Richt said in a news release on Sunday. Benedict (6-foot-5, 312-pounds) was slated to back up Chris Burnette at right guard. He signed as a tackle.
Benedict did not return calls and texts seeking comment. Richt, who just returned from a mission trip to Honduras, was not available to comment.
Benedict was medically cleared this spring after a two-year rehabilitation of a major knee injury that occurred his senior year at The Bolles School. Indications are there has been some differences over how much and what kind of off-season training he should be doing as he prepared for his first active season on the field.
Georgia is now down to 13 scholarship offensive linemen, five of whom are true freshmen who just arrived on campus (not including Nathan Theus of Jacksonville, who signed as a long snapper). Incoming freshman tackle Xzavier Ward is also expected to miss the season with a knee injury.
Georgia already had a major reshuffle of the offensive line when starting left tackle Trinton Sturdivant went down with his third major knee injury this past spring and tackle A.J. Harmon transferred to Alabama State. Redshirt sophomore Dallas Lee of Buford, who was listed as third-string left guard, will likely shift over to right guard.
Benedict’s departure is the second interruption of what had been a quiet offseason for the Bulldogs. A report out of Columbus on Sunday indicates there could be some eligibility questions for starting linebacker Jarvis Jones and five-star basketball signee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.