EUGENE, Ore. — Within three weeks he went from being a star player on the number two ranked college football team to behind bars.
Deputies arrested former Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla Wednesday night for cocaine possession and interfering with police.
Lyerla left the team and the university on Oct 6 to pursue a professional career. But after the arrest, making it to the NFL will be a lot more difficult unless Lyerla gets help.
“He definitely wants to get any treatment if necessary. He wants to resolve these matters,” said John Tyner, an attorney from Hillsboro speaking on Lyerla’s behalf. Tyner says Lyerla will get that chance.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office says undercover officers found Lyerla in a parked car on 7th and Polk Wednesday night. They say he was snorting what looked like a white powdery substance. The football player reportedly admitted to using cocaine.
Investigators then met Lyerla at his Chase Village residence, but Lyerla fled to a neighboring apartment. He was arrested and the following day stood before a judge in the Lane County Jail. Lyerla didn’t enter a plea, but he agreed to undergo Lane County’s drug court program.
“This is an opportunity for Colt for a number of reasons, and he understand that,” Tyner said.
If he successfully completes the drug treatment program, Tyner says his charges will be dismissed.
“So there’s a real incentive, and the program has an amazing success rate. The program has a very small rate of recidivism,” Tyner said.
The news of his arrest is buzzing on social media and on campus.
“Just a little disappointed because he’s just such a star athlete, and it’s kind of sad to see that thrown away because he’s just got so much potential,” said Kheam Noradeen, former high school teammate.
“We were hoping he’d pull through just as a former Duck and enter the draft and do well,” said Duck fan Patrick Zajac.
Many speculate he’ll still have that break. If he stays stays clean and gets back on track.
“He’s still 6’4″. He’s still 260 pounds. There has to be a team that still gives him a shot. Now whether he can actually keep it up and keep up a structure of an NFL lifestlye to make an impact, I’m not sure,” said Duck fan Chris Brooklier.
Lyerla must meet with a public defender regarding drug court on Oct. 28. Then he must show up to the court the following day. If he doesn’t, there will be a warrant out for his arrest and more charges could be added.