A former star football player at the University of Georgia was arrested for a DUI last week, and sources say his arrest may compromise his status as a potential top selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The arrestee, Orson Charles, who played tight end at Georgia, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and blocking the flow of traffic by Athens-Clarke County Police in Athens, Georgia, according to a report from ESPN.com.
The incident allegedly took place at 3 a.m. in Athens. Sources indicate that police found Charles’ car stalled in the middle of an intersection. When police checked to see if his car was disabled, Charles started to drive a short distance but soon pulled over at the officers’ request.
After his arrest, Charles took a breathalyzer test and registered a blood alcohol level of .095, which is slightly above the legal limit of .08. Police then booked Charles into Clarke County Jail, and he was released later that morning after posting a $1,750 bond.
A passenger was in the car with Charles when he was arrested, but the passenger has not been identified. Sources did not say whether Charles has obtained the services of a DUI attorney.
ESPN.com reports that the incident could have negative consequences for Charles, who was a 2011 AFCA All-American and is ranked by one scouting service as the 38th-best prospect in April’s NFL Draft.
The same scouting service also ranked Charles as the second-best tight end prospect in the entire draft, which suggests that he could be drafted higher than the 38th position, given the increased importance of the tight end position in the NFL’s pass-happy offenses.
Sources indicate that Charles had 45 catches for 574 yards and five touchdowns during the 2011 season. He finished his career with 10 touchdown catches, which tied Georgia’s all-time record for touchdown catches by a tight end.
This January, Charles announced that he would be leaving Georgia after his successful junior season. This year, Charles was also a finalist for the John Mackey Award, which recognizes the country’s best tight end each year.
To be fair, the DUI arrest will probably not drop Charles very far down most NFL teams’ draft boards. But his response to the DUI arrest and his subsequent actions may prove to be critical as he tries to regain the trust of NFL executives.
Professional sports players have a (somewhat undeserved) reputation as acting as if they are above the law, and professional sports teams are increasingly concerned about keeping their players out of legal trouble.