The Georgia Tech football careers of A.J. Gray and Jake Stickler are over due to medical reasons, coach Paul Johnson announced Monday.
Gray, a defensive back, has a heart condition and Stickler, an offensive lineman has an undisclosed condition. They will be classified as medical non-counters, meaning they both will remain on scholarship but not count toward Tech’s 85 allowable grants-in-aid for football.
“I’m extremely saddened for A.J., Jake and our team but, in the big picture, health always trumps football,” Johnson said in a statement. “I’m grateful that A.J. and Jake will be able to continue to attend Georgia Tech and earn their degrees.”
Gray was a two-year starter at free safety and appeared in 33 games over three seasons as a Yellow Jacket. The Washington County product finishes his career with 147 tackles (113 solo), six tackles for loss, a sack, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He ranked third on the team in tackles as a sophomore in 2016 (72) and a junior in 2017 (54). He was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week after recording two interceptions in a 33-7 win over North Carolina on Sept. 30, 2017.
The loss of Gray is considered a significant blow to the Tech defense.
Stickler appeared in 20 games over three seasons at Georgia Tech and made 10 starts at right tackle as a junior in 2017. He was an integral part of an offensive line that helped pave the way for Tech to rush for 307.4 yards per game (fifth nationally) in 2017.