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Georgia Tech’s Jamal Golden gets a fifth season

Sun Bowl Football AP

One of the top return specialists in the country a couple of years ago — and a likely starter on defense this season — will have the option to spend some additional time at the collegiate level.

Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech announced Thursday, has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA.  The decision means Golden has been granted a fifth season of eligibility, leaving him two years (2014 and 2015) to play two seasons.

Golden suffered a shoulder injury in the third game of the 2013 season and did not play again, leading to the waiver.  The defensive back has now been medically cleared and will participate in the spring practice sessions later this month.

“While we anticipated that Jamal would receive the waiver, I am happy for him,” head coach Paul Johnson said in a statement. “I know it was difficult for him to watch from the sidelines last season, but he has worked hard to get healthy and he is eager to get started again this spring.”

As a true sophomore in 2012, Golden was the only player to rank in the top 10 nationally in both punt return average (sixth/14.59) and kick return average (10th/28.35).  He started the first three games at safety last season.

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