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Former Oregon TE Lyerla Arrested For Cocaine

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Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla admitted to using and possessing cocaine, leading to his arrest Wednesday. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.
Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla admitted to using and possessing cocaine, leading to his arrest Wednesday. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

Less than a month after leaving the Oregon football team, promising tight end Colt Lyerla was arrested Wednesday night for cocaine possession and interfering with an investigation.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 246 pounds, Lyerla entered the year poised to become a household name in a powerful Oregon offense.

Instead, he spent time out of favor with coach Mark Helfrich, culminating in a suspension against Colorado for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Helfrich withdrew from the university less than 24 hours after that game.

Multiple news outlets confirmed Thursday that Lyerla was arrested and released from the Lane County Jail, though some indicate his release time as 9:20 p.m. PT Wednesday. The Oregonian, however, reported he would stay the night and be arraigned at 1 p.m. Thursday.

According to a press release from the Lane County Sheriff's Office, detectives were working an unrelated drug case when they observed Lyerla snort "what appeared to be a white powdery substance." The former Ducks player admitted using and possessiong cocaine to police and agreed to meet them at his residence to continue the investigation.

At his apartment, the release said, he ran into a neighboring unit and emerged a short time later, leading to his arrest. A resident of Lyerla's apartment complex witnessed the arrest and saw "about six" police cars, according to the Eugene Register-Guard. The apparent witness said police removed what appeared to be evidence from the apartment and also questioned a woman and searched her apartment.

Lyerla missed a game against Tennessee early in the season due to what Helfrich described as "circumstances." Lyerla responded with anger in public, claiming he missed the game due to illness. He also tweeted support for conspiracy theories involving the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during the summer, drawing ire from Oregon and the public.

At one point recently, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. rated Lyerla as the No. 2 tight end in this year's class, and Lyerla recently signed with an agent according to the Bleacher Report, though the arrest likely will cripple his draft status.

Though Lyerla may have earned the consequences, the story isn't a fun one when you consider how exciting it would've been to see the tight end reach his potential alongside De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota in what could be one of the best college offenses ever. Instead, Lyerla caught just three passes for 26 yards and may have squandered his NFL future as well.