Guilty plea on drug charge won't prevent Colt Lyerla from pursuing NFL dream

By Tom Gatto | The | December 28, 2013

Colt Lyerla is headed to jail. Once he's done there, he'll head to Las Vegas. He wants the next stop after that to be an NFL city.

Lylera, a former Oregon tight end, took the first step Friday when he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession. Lane County, Ore., Circuit Judge Jay McAlpin sentenced him to 10 days in jail, with 10 other days suspended. Lyerla also was placed on two years' court-supervised probation, an arrangement that allows him to travel to Nevada and train for the NFL Scouting Combine.

According to The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., Lyerla must also enter a drug treatment program and complete 40 hours of community service.

Lyerla might never see a jail cell, though. He could take part in an alternative program, such as working on the road crew in Lane County, according to The Register-Guard.

"We're grateful for this opportunity for Mr. Lyerla to make amends for the mistake he has made," Stephen Houze, Lyerla's attorney, told reporters after Friday's hearing.

McAlpin stressed that Lyerla was not receiving special treatment because he played for the Ducks. From The Register-Guard:

  • He said denying (Houze's) request to be under court supervision would have cost Lyerla not only his chance at what amounts to a very good job in the NFL but his chance at a career.
  • Lyerla has no criminal history, and McAlpin said he would do the same for any other defendant who came before him on a similar charge with a similar background, regardless of the type of job that was on the line.

Lyerla was arrested on Oct. 23 after an undercover police officer saw him snort a substance that later was determined to be cocaine. The arrest came a little more than two weeks after Lyerla, a junior, left the Ducks' squad, citing personal reasons. Lyerla played in three games before departing. He caught two passes for 26 yards.