Georgia Tech senior receiver Darren Waller, the team’s third-leading receiver who started four games in 2013, was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for a violation of team rules, the school announced Friday.
This sounds worse than it is, at least from a team perspective, as Waller's absence won't make much of a dent against the likes of Wofford (Aug. 30) and Tulane (Sept. 6 in New Orleans). It's more of an unfortunate step back for Waller, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound receiver who looks the part of an NFL prospect but hasn't quite flipped the switch to live up to the potential and expectations.
The Jackets will still be fine at the position, as they return DeAndre Smelter (eight starts) and Micheal Summers (11 starts), both who had more starting experience. Georgia Tech also returns Anthony Autry, who most likely would have been a starter last year had he not been sidelined with a knee injury. Autry, who played as a freshman in 2012, is healthy now and will join the Jackets this spring.
Waller played in 12 games last season and had 17 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns, including a 72-yard touchdown reception against Ole Miss in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. In his career, Waller has played in 38 games with 25 receptions for 529 yards.