- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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Two SEC players have decided to end their football careers.
Vanderbilt backup running back Warren Norman confirmed to The Tennessean Tuesday that his playing career is over due to thinning cartilage in his knees, while Georgia announced on Wednesday that rising senior fullback Alexander Ogletree, the twin brother of Alec Ogletree, has decided to end his football career for "medical reasons."
Norman was one of the most exciting freshmen to watch in the SEC back in 2009. He earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors that year after breaking SEC records for all-purpose yards by a freshman (1,941 yards; 161.8 yards per game) and kickoff return yards (1,050 yards). He also matched the SEC record by returning three kickoffs for touchdowns and led the Commodores with 783 rushing yards, which was the second-highest total for a freshman at Vandy.
Norman battled a knee injury and a broken hand in 2010, but still led the Commodores with 459 rushing yards and shared the team lead with four rushing touchdowns. But the knee injuries cost him his entire junior season and caused him to play sparingly last fall. He appeared in eight games and registered 75 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries last season.
With Norman and Zac Stacy (Vandy's leading rusher the past two seasons) gone, Vanderbilt will now expect even more from rising redshirt senior Wesley Tate, rising sophomore Brian Kimbrow and rising junior Jerron Seymour starting this spring. The Commodores also signed three-star back Rapheal Webb, who will arrive this summer.
Norman will hold a news conference this afternoon.
As for Ogletree, he was listed as the No. 1 fullback for the latter part of the season, but started just two of the eight games he played in all year. He finished his playing career with just 37 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven carries. He carried the ball three times for 14 yards and a touchdown last fall.
The loss of Ogletree will now open up things at fullback for the Bulldogs. Walk-on Merritt Hall, who started six of the 12 games he played in last year, will compete with rising sophomore Quayvon Hicks, who played in 12 games last season primarily on special teams.
1041dChris Low and Edward Aschoff
1054dEdward Aschoff and Chris Low