Georgia Tech’s Dedrick Mills dismissed from team

Georgia Tech running back Dedrick Mills (26) breaks away for a go-ahead touchdown in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, October 15, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Stunning news arrived Friday that Georgia Tech B-back Dedrick Mills was dismissed from the football team for a violation of athletic-department rules.

The school made the announcement in a news release. Mills was expected to be the centerpiece of Tech’s offense this season after having led the Yellow Jackets in rushing yards as a freshman last season.

Mills was suspended twice for a total of three games, but Johnson repeatedly offered his support and endorsement of him.

Earlier in the preseason, Mills told reporters that "you always want to be on the field" and that "I'm going to keep myself on the field this year."

Mills led Tech with 771 rushing yards as a freshman in 2016, playing with a toughness and relentlessness that won him the starting job in the preseason. His ability to win tough yards was evidenced in his 12 rushing touchdowns, which was third among freshmen nationally.

With four returning starters on the offensive line, an even more productive season was forecast for Mills. One question mark, though, was Mills’ ability to stay on the field. Last season, Mills was suspended once for one game – the Sept. 10 Mercer game – and a second time for two games – the Virginia Tech and Virginia games in November. Both were violations of team rules. The specific reasoning has not been made public.

“It’s never been an issue of wanting to do it,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Craig Candeto said in the first week of preseason camp. “It’s just growing up. You come in as a 17-, 18-year-old. If any of us are honest, we remember those days, and it just takes time to kind of catch up and start processing things. But he wants to be great, and I’m going to push him to be great.”

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