Paul Johnson on releasing Dedrick Mills: 'He just made some poor choices.'
ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson said he believes B-back Dedrick Mills is still a good kid, but rules are rules, and there was no choice but to dismiss him on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets announced on Friday that Mills, a sophomore, was dismissed for a violation of athletic department rules. Johnson said Mills' previous two suspensions last season were for football related rules.
"I think he’s a good kid. Loves to play football, but sometimes choices have consequences and you have to make good decisions. Sometimes we all make mad decisions. But like I said, there’s consequences when you make bad decisions," Johnson said. "I don’t think he has a bad bone in his body. He’s a hard worker, loves to play football. You know he just made some poor choices.
Johnson met with Mills earlier in the day and laid out a few options for him moving forward. He doesn't see why he wouldn't grant him a full release unless he wants to transfer to a team the Yellow Jackets are playing this season. Mills could transfer to another FBS team and sit out a season, play right away at an FCS program or transfer to JUCO and start his recruitment over again. Johnson said staying at Georgia Tech to get his education is also an option.
While Johnson wouldn't elaborate on the violation, he said it was not a legal or an NCAA violation.
The Yellow Jackets begin their season in 17 days against Tennessee at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Johnson said the team is obviously disappointed, but there will still be a B-back ready to go that he expects to rush for 1,000 yards.
"I feel bad for him, but as far as the team goes, we’ll have a B-back. We’ve had them before, since 1985 we’ve had a lot of different guys line up there," Johnson said.
KirVonte Benson, Quaide Weimerskirch, Brady Swilling and Jerry Howard are other B-backs listed on the roster. Johnson said Weimerskirch would likely be the next man up, but he's still dealing with an injury.
In his freshman season, Mills had 771 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the team's leading rusher, and was the MVP of the TaxSlayer Bowl.
But he was suspended for two games last season in November for a violation of team rules. He was also suspended for the team's game against Mercer for the same reason.