UPDATED: CROWELL DISMISSED FROM TEAM
ATHENS – Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell has been dismissed from the team following his arrest early Friday morning on three weapons charges.
Georgia coach Mark Richt made the announcement in short news release sent out by UGA Sports Communications at 5 p.m. on Friday.
“We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season,” Richt said. “Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort.”
Crowell, a sophomore from Columbus, was booked at 3:37 a.m. on charges of possessing a concealed weapon, having a weapon in a school zone and having an altered ID mark on that weapon. His bond, originally set at $7,500, was raised to $9,500 late Friday morning. According to booking records, Crowell was released early Friday afternoon.
According to the police report, four other Georgia football players were also in Crowell’s vehicle, including three 2012 freshman signees. Those persons were outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons, wide receiver Blake Tibbs and defensive back Sheldon Dawson. Also present was sophomore defensive back Quintavius Harrow. None of the four were charged.
According to Athens-Clarke police spokesperson Hilda Sorrow, Crowell was arrested at a “vehicle check-point” — or road block — on East Campus Road at Green Street at 2:20 a.m. Friday. Officer Kathryn Thornton reported smelling the odor of marijuana in Crowell’s silver four-door 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis. Crowell gave consent to search the vehicle, himself and four other occupants. No marijuana was discovered but a black 9-mm Luger handgun with an altered serial number was found under the driver’s seat. Crowell was immediately arrested and taken to jail.
According to the police report, Crowell denied knowing the gun was in the car and said people drive the vehicle. He. The owner of the vehicle is listed as Crowell’s mother Debbie. The report also indicted that the five were coming from the nightclub Aftermath, where Crowell said the smell of marijuana originated.
The police report also indicated that Crowell has no criminal history.
Crowell’s mother, Debbie, was clearly distressed when reached by telephone Friday. “I don’t want to talk to a reporter right now,” she said. “”If I want to talk to anybody it’s God.”
Crowell, who came to UGA in 2011 as the No. 1-rated running back prospect in America, was slated to start for the Bulldogs at tailback this season. He rushed for 850 yards and 5 touchdowns as a freshman despite missing playing time due to suspensions and injuries. He was benched for the first quarter of the Vanderbilt game on Oct. 15 as a punishment for an undisclosed disciplinary infraction and he was suspended for the Nov. 5 New Mexico State game, reportedly for failing a drug test.
With Crowell out of the fold, Georgia will turn to redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome and senior Richard Samuel to carry the load early on, along with junior Brandon Harton. The Bulldogs also signed Keith Marshall of Raleigh, N.C. — the top running back prospect in the country, according to 247Sports.com — and four-star prospect Todd Gurley of Tarboro, N.C., to play running back. Marshall enrolled in January.
Marshall and other running backs were offering support for Crowell via Twitter.
“Pray for Isaiah & that he will learn from his mistake,” wrote Marshall from @Truthh4.
Derrick Henry, a highly-touted running back prospect from Florida who once was committed to Georgia, also weighed in via his Twitter account, @KingHenry_2: “Pray for Crowell instead [of] bashing him . . . because everyone wasn’t raised the same. . . . So everyone should just pray he sees a better way”
More information to come when it’s available.