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Former Duck, Colt Lyerla, sentenced to 10 days in jail

Ex-UO tight end switches plea to guilty in Lane County


EUGENE — Former University of Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla pleaded guilty to cocaine possession Friday and was sentenced to 10 days in Lane County jail, with another 10 days suspended, and two years probation and other stipulations.

The resolution at Lane Country Circuit Court came nine weeks after his arrest.

"We're grateful for this opportunity for Colt to make amends for the mistakes he's made," defense attorney Stephen Houze said. "He intends to make everyone proud of him once again." 

Lyerla, a former Hillsboro High star, will be allowed to relocate to Las Vegas, Nev., to train for the May NFL draft after his jail time, which could begin as early as Jan. 3. He plans to train under Dwight Ross of Performance Athletics in Nevada. 

"He's a young a man in very good physical shape, but he'll be working his tail off in the most strenuous training programs … he'll be ready," Houze said. 

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Colt Lyerla, former University of Oregon tight end, changed his plea to gullty of cocaine possession on Friday.Lyerla and his attorneys earlier had rejected entry into a drug treatment plan and had sought clearance to train in Nevada while his case was pending, but the court denied that request.

Houze said he asked Judge Jay McAlpin for a "zero tolerance approach" regarding Lyerla, telling the judge "we're offering something that does not give him a special break.

"I understand the severity of the situation and no matter the outcome will use this as an opportunity to be a better person," Lyerla told McAlpin before the judge issued his sentence.  

Per McAlpin's decision, Lyerla also must enroll in a certified drug treatment program, provide at least four urinalysis tests per month, join an addiction support group and give 40 hours of community service, which can be performed out of state. Also, his driver's license will be suspended six months, and he cannot possess or consume alcohol or drugs or attend places of sale for either. 

"I want you to think about (the feeling you had when you were arrested) before you make these decisions again," McAlpin warned Lyerla during the sentencing. 

Lyerla must return to court Feb. 7 for a review hearing, at which time he will be eligible to have his case reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

During the sentencing recommendations, deputy district attorney Jay Hall said that although Lyerla had no prior convictions, the actions leading to the Oct. 23 arrest were more than a "momentary lapse of judgment" or "college hijinx." 

Lyerla's eight days at Lane County Courthouse surpassed the three appearances he made for the Ducks football team before quitting on Oct. 6. He had just two receptions this fall and 34 for his career. 

"He's very grateful that he'll have the opportunity to prove that he's a worthy human being," Houze said. "It's a body blow to have something like this happen to you. He's absorbed this in exactly the right way.

"He's going to make it right."