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Police: UGA’s Jonathan Ledbetter found asleep at the wheel, took half-hour to wake up

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If that headline is attached to your name, it’s safe to go ahead and assume you’ve had a wee bit too much to drink.

Reports surfaced Sunday that Jonathan Ledbetter had been arrested on a pair of alcohol-related charges earlier that morning.  While no details were available at the time, they are now, and it doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of the Georgia defensive lineman.

According to the Athens Banner-Herald, police were called to an intersection at 5:30 in the morning as a vehicle was blocking traffic at a stop light.  A man, later identified as Ledbetter, was found asleep at the wheel of his Dodge Avenger, with the vehicle running and in gear.  The police report noted that, DawgNation.com wrote, “it took more than a half-hour to wake up Ledbetter.”

Once he was finally awakened and somewhat coherent, Ledbetter began alluding to the recent unrest in the country, while also acknowledging his status with the Bulldogs might be hanging in the balance because of this latest incident.  From DawgNation:

(Ledbetter) proceeded to explain that he knows what’s going on in the world now with cops shooting black people and he also said that he wanted to know if he passed the test or not so that he could just take his boys home. There was no one in the car except for Mr. Ledbetter when I arrived on scene. He also explained that he feels like this is a hate crime. I asked Mr. Ledbetter again if he would be willing to submit to the breath test and he said, ‘I will submit to any test that you want me to do.’ He expressed that he plays football for UGA and that he does not get into any more trouble because he is going to get kicked off of the team and that he needs to provide for his mother and family.

Ledbetter’s BAC on a pair of breathalyzer tests cane back at .131 and .138.

UGA officials have yet to publicly address Ledbetter’s latest legal situation.  First-year head coach Kirby Smart is scheduled to appear at the SEC Media Days event Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET.

This was Ledbetter’s second arrest in four months.  In March, he was arrested a pair of alcohol-related misdemeanors.

Report: Baylor LB DeMarco Artis, WR Rajah Preciado leave team

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Baylor linebacker DeMarco Artis and wide receiver Rajah Preciado have left the team, according to a report from SicEm365The site reports that the pair leave the program on good terms; both players are still on the online roster as well as the paper roster that was distributed at Big 12 media days on Monday.

Artis was a rising sophomore from Sanford, Fla. He appeared in six games as a true freshman in 2017, recording one tackle and one hurry.

Preciado was a junior from College Station, Texas. Appearing in 18 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons, Preciado did not record a catch but posted 14 career tackles and returned one kickoff for 10 yards.

 

 

Former Ohio State defensive MVP Mike Kudla passes away

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Former Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from his high school alma mater, Highland High School in Medina, Ohio. Kudla was 34.

Kudla signed with Ohio State in 2002 and immediately helped the Buckeyes to their first national championship since 1968. He would go on to become one of the top 15 sack artists in Ohio State history, a First Team All-Big Ten performer and Ohio State’s defensive MVP in 2005. He recorded 41 tackles, 11.5 TFLs and 9.5 sacks.

Kudla worked in business after football and eventually returned to Ohio State in 2012 as managing director of development for the Fisher College of Business. At the time of his death, Kudla worked as the owner of Core Plex, which “built medical facilities all over the country.”

“Despite his success on and off the football field, Mike remained humble and was extremely generous with his time and resources,” Highland school district director of communications Dawn Marzano wrote in the Facebook post. “He was always willing to share his experience and mentor youth. He was loved and respected by many and will be missed terribly.”

Lincoln Riley suggests there is a competition for QB that nobody should believe

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It’s a standard procedure for a head coach to suggest there is an open competition for any number of positions on a football team, but nobody seems to be buying the idea there is a competition at Oklahoma to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. And when one of the players supposedly in the running for the job has a lucrative baseball career on the table, the idea is a little more comical.

Kyler Murray was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the No. 9 overall pick in the recent amateur MLB amateur draft. His contract with the A’s guarantees him $5 million and still allows for him to play one more year of football, which Murray has stated is his plan at Oklahoma. Still, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley addressed the quarterback situation at Big 12 media days on Monday and suggested Murray will have to win the job against redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall.

“Kyler’s not the quarterback yet,” Riley said when asked how the offense will change with Riley at the position following the departure of No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Mayfield to Cleveland. “There’s a really good competition going on and Kyler’s gonna have to fight like crazy to win this job.”

Sure. OK. Whatever you say, Riley.

It is worth noting Murray appeared in seven games for the Sooners last season with 18-of-21 for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in backup duty for Mayfield. Kendall redshirted last season and was named one of the team’s Offensive Scout Team Players of the Year. Kendall did make appearances in two games in 2016 in a back-up role. While Kendall may have a bright future in Norman, few are willing to accept Oklahoma is welcoming back Murray to potentially be a back-up quarterback when he could jump right into his pro baseball career right now.

But this could just be nothing more than the latest example of a coach simply setting the tone for the offseason and holding the bar high for even the most talented of players on the roster. Riley may be blowing smoke, but it could also pay off in the long run of the 2018 season.

Tennessee DL Ryan Thaxton suspended, charged with domestic assault

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Tennessee defensive lineman Ryan Thaxton has been suspended by the football program after being arrested and charged for an alleged domestic assault of his girlfriend. The incident leading to the arrest and charge occurred over the weekend.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Thaxton was arrested Sunday night and charged with domestic assault and false imprisonment. According to police records, Thaxton is accused of pushing his girlfriend to his dorm room while she refused to follow him. It is reported Thaxton than carried the unidentified woman to his dorm room and blocked the door so she could not leave as an argument continued inside the room.

“We are aware of the incident,” a statement from Tennessee read. “The student-athlete has been suspended from all team activities while law enforcement and the university investigates.”

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is scheduled to address the media at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.