Georgia Tech's A.J. Gray, Jake Stickler give up football for health reasons

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech starters A.J. Gray and Jake Stickler are giving up football because of medical issues.

Coach Paul Johnson made the announcement Monday, saying he's "extremely saddened" for the two players but added that "health always trumps football." Both will remain on scholarship while not counting against the school's 85-player scholarship limit.

Gray was heading into his senior season as a two-year starter at free safety, but a heart condition forced him to quit. As a junior, he was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive back of the week after making two interceptions in a 33-7 win over North Carolina .

Stickler's medical issue was not disclosed. The offensive lineman started 10 games at right tackle as a junior in 2017.