Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) during Georgia’s game against Tennessee on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Jalen Carter, a two-time National Champion at the University of Georgia and projected Top 10 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, is in hot and controversial water on Wednesday.
According to a report obtained by the Associated Press on Wednesday, Carter has been charged with racing and reckless driving. The incident connects back to the fatal car crash that killed a Georgia football player and a Bulldogs staff member back in January.
The AP report states that the Athens-Clarke County Police Department “alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, which led to the Jan. 15 wreck.”
The wreck connected to the incident took the life of 20-year-old redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Devin Willock and staff member Chandler LeCroy.
Both charges, racing and reckless driving, are misdemeanors in the state of Georgia. The tragic accident took place less than a week after Georgia’s national championship victory over Texas Christian University back in January.
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As one of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, Carter is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL combine, which started on Wednesday. Carter was slated to speak to the media on Wednesday but did not due to physicals that still needed to be conducted beforehand.
Carter posted a lengthy message to Twitter on Thursday, stating that he does intend of returning to Athens, GA, in order to answer the charges that have been given out.
“This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens Georgia police department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing,” Carter posted to Twitter. “… It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”
According to the Associated Press, “Carter’s representatives told police that they were ‘making arrangements for [Carter] to turn himself in,’ according to Shaun Barnett, a spokesperson for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.”
This is the latest in a long string of legal troubles regarding athletes from Georgia since the end of the football season.
In addition to the tragic deaths of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy, Georgia has also seen former quarterback Stetson Bennett arrested on a charge of public intoxication in Dallas in late January. Additionally, prior to that, Georgia saw transfer wide receiver RaRa Thomas get arrested for false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery-family violence just a few days before Bennett’s situation.
In ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft from Tuesday, Jalen Carter was projected to be the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears.