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Georgia's Hollis gives up football

ATHENS - Georgia football player Albert Hollis, a fan favorite despite never stepping on the field, is giving up his final year of eligibility in the sport.

Hollis, who signed with Georgia out of Sacramento, Calif., in 2000, had recently been awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA but has decided to concentrate instead on track in his final season, according to a statement released Thursday by the school.

Hollis was one of the jewels of the Bulldogs' 2000 signing class. He was named a Parade Magazine All-American and first team All-USA running back by USA Today after his senior season in high school, when he rushed for 2,053 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Hollis once rushed for 421 yards and six touchdowns in a single high school game, but his collegiate career never got started. After redshirting in 2000, he suffered a severe knee dislocation in spring practice the next season. Due to severe ligament and nerve damage, it would be three years and three days exactly before he was cleared for full contact work.

"I cannot express how proud I am of Albert," Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement released by the school.