Georgia offensive tackle Kolton Houston announced Tuesday he will apply for another year of eligibility at the end of this season. This may be Houston’s fifth year at Georgia, but it is only his second season playing for the Bulldogs.
After redshirting his first year on campus, he was suspended for the next two seasons due to his inability to pass drug tests for performance-enhancing substances. The steroids present in Houston’s system were medically administered after undergoing shoulder surgery in high school. The NCAA placed him on a standard one-year suspension but after failing multiple NCAA drug tests, he was given a lifetime ban.
Ron Courson, Georgia’s director of sports medicine, tried to appeal the NCAA’s decision due to the fact that the steroids were injected into fatty tissues, which meant the substance were trapped in his system. Courson reassured that Houston had not reused performance-enhancing substances since his surgery in high school and they could medically prove so. Mark Emmert, the president of the NCAA, denied Courson’s appeal for immediate reinstatement of Houston. Emmert stated that Houston could play again once the steroids lessened in his system to the minimum amount that met the NCAA’s acceptable threshold.
On July 25, 2013, Houston received the best birthday gift he could ask for. He was reinstated by the NCAA on his twenty-second birthday and was granted two years of eligibility.
“I had almost reached the point where I thought this situation would never end,” Houston said the night he received the news. “When I got the call, I broke down and cried for about 30 minutes. I had that much emotion stored up and it felt good to get it out. I’m ready now to show what I can do.”
Now that he is in his second and final year of eligibility, Houston hopes the NCAA will grant him another season with the Georgia Bulldogs.
“I’ve got the whole rest of my life to go work, but I’ve only got one more year to play college football,” Houston said. “So that’s sort of my view on it right now, and we’ll just see if the NCAA will work with us.”
Houston appeared in 13 games and started six in 2013. He has started in every game at right tackle thus far this season. If the NCAA accepts his appeal for another season, the Bulldogs will have four starters on the offensive-line returning.
No. 9 Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) will play Florida (3-3, 2-3 SEC) in an SEC East matchup this Saturday at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Georgia-Florida rivalry has been played at the neutral site since 1933. The Bulldogs leads the series 50-40-2.
*Section Photo credit to UGA Sports Communications; Featured Photo (above) credit to Dale Zanine, USA Today Sports.