Former Oregon TE escapes from jail after cocaine conviction
During the height of the Oregon Ducks’ rise to prominence, TE Colt Lyerla was one of their most potent weapons. Now, he finds himself on the run from federal authorities.
The 6-foot-5, 246-pound Lyerla was a top-100 recruit according to 247Sports when he committed to the Ducks in 2011. He accumulated 11 TDs in his first two seasons in Eugene, but that extraordinary performance on the field would be about the most normal part of his college experience.
Lyerla told The Oregonian in 2014 that he was promised benefits from a booster which he never received at Oregon, and that he didn’t see eye to eye with new coach Mark Helfrich. This tension led to attempts by Lyerla to ask for a transfer and his subsequent dismissal from the team early in 2013 after multiple run-ins with the coaching staff.
Three weeks later, Lyerla was arrested for cocaine possession in Eugene. Due to this arrest, among other off-field concerns, the once-promising TE went undrafted in 2014. He would earn a tryout for the Packers but ultimately would not stick in the NFL.
After being convicted in March for drug possession, and being sentenced to six months in jail, this had all the makings of an all-too-common athlete-turned-convict story – but that’s when things got really wild.
According to TMZ, authorities are actively searching for Lyerla after he escaped from jail on Thursday. A rep from the Washington County Community Corrections Center told TMZ sports that officers realized he was missing when the found that a window was let ajar at the facility, prompting a manhunt that is still ongoing.
Now Lyerla will face a felony escape charge in addition to his original sentence when he is apprehended.