Jalen Carter was recently charged with reckless driving after a crash that killed a Georgia teammate and a recruiting officer, but it wasn’t the first time he’s driven dangerously.
Recently released body camera footage shows the potential first pick in the NFL Draft was withdrawn in September for being “reckless” on the road.
Carter also received citations for his tints—his driver’s side window was too dark, and in the state of Georgia, windshields may not be tinted at all.
“Your break is you’re not going to jail, because I’d be in all kinds of news,” the officer told Carter while explaining that he “wasn’t smart” while driving.
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The officer later said he would have let Carter slide if he hadn’t been “reckless,” but it’s not known how fast Carter was going.
“We wouldn’t be talking if you were going the speed limit. I could care less about the nuances, but when you do something stupid, stupid, I’m going to pile things on you… That was reckless.” continued the cop.
The officer said Carter was the third Georgia football player he had pulled over in the past two days and had pulled over Dylan Fairchild “a minute ago” for “doing a 70” in the same area. But despite the recent string of arrests, quarterback Stetson Bennett, who was arrested in January for public drunkenness, says the Bulldogs don’t have a culture issue.
“These were individual mistakes that those individuals are responsible for. It’s not a cultural issue,” he said Friday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“Absolutely not. I’d say we’re a long way from that,” head coach Kirby Smart told ESPN on Friday when asked the same thing. “When you talk to people outside of our program that come into it, they talk about the great culture that we have and we’re doing an incredible job. Because I have a lot of outside entities that come into our program and these young men come into it.
“Do we have perfect young men and women and players? Not necessarily. But I promise you that’s the goal: to grow these guys and make them better. And I feel really good about the culture of our program.”
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Carter was originally in Indianapolis on Wednesday to take part in the NFL Scouting Combine but rushed back to Atlanta. where an arrest warrant was issued issued for his alleged involvement in the crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy. He was booked at 11:33 PM ET at the Athens-Clarke County Jail and released 16 minutes later.
He returned to the lineup Thursday, but did not take part in any on-field activity.
The 21-year-old is accused of racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy, 24, which he drove into the wreck. The the crash occurred a few hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight championship with a parade ceremony.
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LeCroy was traveling at 104 mph with a BAC of 0.197, more than twice the legal limit in the state of Georgia.
Carter expects to be “fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing” and “to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and make sure that the full and accurate truth is presented.”
He is listed as the top overall prospect in this year’s draft. The Chicago Bears owns the top pick but is reportedly open to buying it. Carter was a five-star recruit out of Apopka High School in Florida. He was a consensus All-American and All-SEC First Teamer this season. In 2021, he made second team All-SEC.
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If Carter is the first pick, it will be the second year in a row that a Georgia Bulldog has started the draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Travon Walker was taken first overall last year.