March 13, 2014
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s Jamal Golden, who was one of the nation’s top return specialists in 2012, has received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA, basically replacing a 2013 season lost to injury.
Golden, who played as a true freshman in 2011 and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors as a sophomore in 2012 as a specialist, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game of the 2013 season against North Carolina. With the waiver, the Wetumpka (Ala.) product enters the 2014 season as a junior with two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“While we anticipated that Jamal would receive the waiver, I am happy for him,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “I know it was difficult for him to watch from the sidelines last season, but he has worked hard to get healthy and he is eager to get started again this spring.”
As a sophomore in 2012, Golden was the only player to rank in the top 10 nationally in both punt return average (6th/14.59) and kick return average (10th/28.35). Golden was named Tech’s special teams player of the year and earned specialist of the game honors in the 2012 Hyundai Sun Bowl victory over Southern California.
Prior to the 2012 season no Georgia Tech player had returned a kickoff for a touchdown since 1998, yet Golden returned two kicks for TDs – one in a win over North Carolina and a second in a home loss to BYU.
As a member of the Yellow Jacket secondary, Golden has seen action at safety, cornerback and nickel.
Golden has been cleared to participate in spring practice, which begins March 24th.