Tennessee redshirt freshman defensive lineman Andrew Butcher’s football career is over.
The Alpharetta (Ga.) native announced via Twitter on Monday evening that he has opted to take a medical exemption, meaning he will remain on scholarship at UT, but will no longer play football.
— Andrew Butcher (@ButcherAndrew1) February 6, 2017
Butcher’s college career comes to an end before it truly got a chance to get started.
Ranked as a three-star defensive end coming out of Alpharetta High Schooll, the Clemson legacy prospect enrolled early in 2015 and participated in spring practice that season. But an offseason surgery put him behind for the 2015 season, forcing him to take a redshirt.
And while he bulked up and was able to return to practice later in 2016 as a defensive tackle, Butcher never saw the field for the Vols despite a rash of injuries and attrition at the position. His Twitter statement on Monday indicates that four surgeries, which included two major operations on one knee, were simply too much to overcome physically.
Butcher will no longer count against the 85-man scholarship limit for UT.