ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia's two leading tacklers will be able to play against No. 14 Florida after being cleared of marijuana possession.
The school announced Monday that sophomore inside linebackers Natrez Patrick and Roquan Smith violated no university policies that would require a suspension.
In a statement, Athletic director Greg McGarity said, “After receiving an incident report last week, we determined that neither Roquan Smith nor Natrez Patrick had violated any Athletic Association rules that would require suspension. This included drug testing, which was negative for both student-athletes.”
Police were called to Patrick's dormitory room shortly after an Oct. 15 loss to Vanderbilt. A resident assistant reported the smell of pot, but no drugs were found and neither player was charged.
Patrick is the Bulldogs' leader with 42 tackles, followed by Smith with 39.
Patrick served a one-game suspension last year after being arrested for marijuana possession.
In a statement, Patrick said, “Since November 2015, I have dedicated myself to moving forward. I'm blessed to have done that despite hurdles I've had to clear. This incident was simply another hurdle and I was confident I would successfully clear it. I'll continue to move forward and I'm anxious to play on Saturday.”
Smith said in a statement, “As a student at the University of Georgia and a member of the football team, I take this opportunity very seriously. I have followed the rules of the Athletic Association and I am happy this situation has been rightfully resolved. I look forward to representing my school and my team on Saturday in Jacksonville.”
Coach Kirby Smart says both players are "exemplary leaders" and he's pleased they can put the matter behind them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.