Many were surprised when it was announced on Sunday night that tight end Colt Lyerla was leaving the Oregon Ducks football program. Lyerla had problems throughout his college football career, but a lot of people probably figured the two sides would work things out. Instead, Lyerla has left the team, dropped out of school and will concentrate on his pro career. He’s expected to be one of the top tight end prospects for the NFL Draft.
So what happened with Lyerla and what could lead him to leave the team and drop out of school entirely? Most reports indicate he was becoming irresponsible when it came to both athletics and academics.
Aaron Fentress at Comcast Northwest reported that Lyerla was suspended for last weekend’s 57-16 win at Colorado because he was repeatedly late or missed team activities. Coach Mark Helfrich reportedly was fed up with Lyerla and told the tight end he might get kicked off if he didn’t shape up. That supposedly was enough to convince Lyerla to leave the program.
Additionally, Oregonian columnist John Canzano says Lyerla had become equally flaky when it came to academics and even stopped going to class:
@zachmiller He stopped going to class, I'm told… became increasingly distant, and checked himself out. I think he decided weeks ago.
— John Canzano (@JohnCanzanoBFT) October 7, 2013
Not only was Lyerla suspended for the Colorado game, but he also missed the Tennessee game. That was another fiasco, because Lyerla said he missed the game because of an illness, while Helfrich was vague with the media, only citing “circumstances” for the tight end’s absence.
These problems are nothing new for Lyerla, who also was suspended when Chip Kelly was the team’s head coach. The junior tight end closes his college career with 34 receptions for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns, and 94 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
(written at request from Ryan)Google+