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Jalen Carter releases strong statement after arrest warrant

Jalen Carter on the sideline

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former Georgia star Jalen Carter had a warrant issued for his arrest on Wednesday morning, and the defensive tackle has officially denied any wrongdoing.

Carter said in a statement that he will return to Athens, Ga., after an arrest warrant was issued on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. The 21-year-old said he has no doubt he will be “fully exonerated” when all the facts are uncovered.

Police in Athens said Wednesday that investigators determined that Carter and Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy were “operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing” early on the morning of Jan. 15. Evidence indicated that the Ford Expedition LeCroy was driving crashed at a speed of 104 mph.

LeCroy and former Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock died in the crash.

A toxicology report showed that LeCroy’s blood-alcohol level was .197.

Hours before the arrest warrant was issued, a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Carter was at the scene of the fatal crash and may have misled police. Carter initially claimed he was more than a mile away when the crash took place. Officers said he then admitted he was close enough to see the vehicle’s tail lights at the time of the accident.

Carter is viewed by many analysts as the top overall prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman is projected to go as high as No. 1, depending on whether the Chicago Bears trade out of the spot or keep the pick. It remains to be seen if the legal trouble will impact his stock.

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