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Senior College Football Columnist

Report: Ex-Oregon TE Lyerla arrested

The life of Colt Lyerla, the talented former Oregon Ducks tight end, apparently has taken a sad turn Wednesday night. According to Oregon's Register-Guard, a Lane County jail dispatch clerk told the paper that Lyerla was booked for possession of cocaine.

The police report obtained by the Register-Guard said that detectives, working on an unrelated drug investigation, observed the 20-year-old in a parked vehicle snorting what appeared to be a white powdery substance. Lyerla was contacted by police and admitted to using and possessing cocaine, the report said.

A freakish combination of size and speed, Lyerla has been expected to be a star for the Ducks since a breakout performance he had last September in a romp over Arizona. In that game, Chip Kelly utilized the 6-5, 250-pounder as a receiver and runner, giving him seven carries. Lyerla's speed jolted the Wildcats defense for 63 yards and a TD. He finished the season averaging 16 yards a catch on 25 receptions.

Lyerla's 2013, though, got off to a rocky start. He missed a September 14 game against Tennessee and didn't accompany the Ducks two weeks later for their game at Colorado. Coach Mark Helfrich said Lyerla was suspended for a game for violating team rules. Earlier this month, Lyerla left the team and opted to get ready for the 2014 NFL draft. Before the news Wednesday night, there had been concerns in scouting circles about Lyerla's maturity. Lyerla's behavior also had scared off some college coaches in the recruiting process before he'd signed on with Oregon.

One of Lyerla's former teammates, Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff tweeted late Wednesday night, "My heart just dropped ... dude has all the talent in the world. Pray that God gives him the strength."

Bleacher Reporter's Matt Miller first reported the arrest Wednesday.


Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for CBSSports.com and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
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