Georgia freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson, who was poised to play significant time this season, suffered a knee injury and instead will redshirt.
Wilkerson had surgery on Friday to repair the meniscus in his right knee, and will undergo a second surgery to repair his ACL at a later date. The team said Wilkerson injured his knee during a voluntary passing drill earlier in the week.
Wilkerson is expected to make a full recovery, head athletic trainer Ron Courson said in a statement, after sitting out the 2013 season.
"Minor setback for a major comeback. #RG3 type-ish," Wilkerson posted on his Twitter account, referencing injured Washington Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III.
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The news is another hit to Georgia's secondary, because Wilkerson, an early enrollee, had a chance to be a big factor on a young defense. Wilkerson was rated a four-star prospect coming out of North Marion High School in Ocala, Fla.
Georgia veteran players had high praise for Wilkerson at the end of spring practice. After Sheldon Dawson went down with a hamstring injury, Wilkerson finished spring working as the first-team cornerback, opposite of Damian Swann.
And with the one-game suspension to Josh Harvey-Clemons, Wilkerson was a prime candidate to start at the nickel-back role, a critical spot against Clemson.
"He's a very conscientious guy, wants to do things exactly right," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said during th spring. "He's very hard on himself, and I think he's flashed, he's just gotta continue to work. I see him as a guy that can be in our rotation."