The rocky road for Quintez Cephus is officially leading him from Wisconsin to the NFL.
Monday, it was confirmed by both Quintez Cephus and Wisconsin that the wide receiver has officially declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Cephus had one more season of eligibility that he could’ve used with the Badgers.
“I’m excited to put my name in for the draft and to have a chance to play at the highest level,” Cephus said in a statement. “I want to thank Coach (Paul) Chryst and Coach (Ted) Gilmore for everything they’ve done for me and for always having my back. They’ve helped me grow as a football player and as a man. The same for my teammates. Their support has meant everything. They’re brothers to me, and to be able to play this season with them and for them has been a blessing.”
After not playing at all in 2018, Cephus returned in 2019 to set career-highs in receptions (59), receiving yards (901) and receiving touchdowns (seven). All of those numbers led the run-heavy Badgers as well.
Cephus will finish the collegiate portion of his playing career with 1,496 yards and 13 touchdowns on 93 catches.
“Q has meant a lot to this team,” said Chryst. “He is incredibly selfless and truly cares about all of his teammates. He has an infectious personality. He loves playing the game of football and you can see that joy when he is on the field. I am excited for his future and wish him all the best as he takes this step.”
The reason for Cephus not playing in 2018 stemmed from an off-field issue. The University of Wisconsin announced in mid-August that Quintez Cephus had been reinstated and was again a student in good standing at the school, two weeks after being found not guilty on a pair of sexual assault charges and almost immediately seeking reinstatement.
Two days after very loudly proclaiming his innocence and announcing he was taking a leave of absence from the Wisconsin football team, Cephus was charged in late August of 2018 with felony sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and felony sexual assault. The criminal complaint filed against him stated that he allegedly “sexually assaulted two drunken women at once in the bedroom of his apartment in April” of 2018.
It took a jury of his peers less than 45 minutes to acquit him on both of those counts a year later.
Cephus was initially suspended by the Badgers football program before being expelled by the university last semester. In October of 2018, Cephus sued the University of Wisconsin-Madison in U.S. District Court, claiming that the school violated his constitutional rights. That suit was dropped in March of last year.