Colt Lyerla had the makings of the next great college– and eventually NFL-caliber — tight end when he signed with Oregon in 2011.
A standout high school running back and linebacker, Lyerlra appeared like the perfect fit for head coach Chip Kelly’s up-tempo, spread offense. Instead, Lyerla left the Ducks midway through his junior season and struggled with off-field issues since then.
This is Lyerla’s story, from top college football prospect to a convicted felon.
Colt Lyerla was a top tight end prospect
Colt Lyerla wanted to stay at home.
A talented high school player who had overs from 30 schools, Lylera — born in Hillsboro, Ore. — opted to sign with Chip Kelly and the Ducks. Lyerla enrolled early and caught seven passes for 147 yards and five touchdowns as a true freshman.
Oregon used Lyerla in various roles, from a receiving tight end to a bulky running back/fullback hybrid, during the 2012 campaign. Lyerla turned 25 passes into 392 yards and six touchdowns in Kelly’s final season with the Ducks. He also ran for 77 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Expected to raise his draft stock in 2013, Lyerla instead caught just two passes for 26 yards in two games before he quit the team. Lyerla, who also ran for 17 yards and a touchdown on three carries, had been suspended for two games before his departure.
Lylera has had legal issues in recent years
Colt Lyerla was no stranger to controversy starting in 2013. That year, Lyerla tweeted a conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook shooting that he later apologized for posting.
Shortly after he left the Ducks, Oregon police arrested Lyerla for the unlawful possession of cocaine, a charge he pleaded guilty to in December 2013. In September 2014, not long after the Packers waived him with an injury settlement following a torn ACL, Lylera was arrested for DUI.
Two years later, police arrested Lyerla in Tigard, Ore., for possession of heroin in August 2016. Things got worse for Lyerla in 2017, when he received six months in prison after a guilty plea of charges on first- and second-degree forgery.
Lyerla later briefly escaped custody. According to katu.com in Oregon, Lyerla escaped from a first-story dorm window at the Washington County Community Correction Center.
Police later found Lyerla, who attempted to run him away when officers found him.
Colt Lyerla is now a convicted felon
Colt Lyerla’s sad story got far worse last year.
According to The Register-Guard, Lyerla received 27 months in prison in November 2019 after pleading guilty to domestic violence and heroin possession charges. Lyerla had been in a jail after he allegedly assaulted and strangled his girlfriend.
The paper reported that a measure 11 charge of second-degree assault, which would have carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and 10 months, was dismissed.
Lyerla received credit for time already served in the case.