In a release by the University of Oregon football program, it was announced junior TE Colt Lyerla is leaving the University of Oregon to pursue a ‘professional career.’
The announcement was made Sunday evening after the team attended its usual afternoon treatment session.
In the release, it reported Lyerla informed Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich that he was leaving the program for ‘personal reasons.’
* See Official Release
DUCKS’ LYERLA TO LEAVE OREGON FOOTBALL PROGRAM
EUGENE, Ore. – University of Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla has informed head coach Mark Helfrich he is leaving the team for personal reasons.
The Hillsboro junior did not accompanying the Ducks to Boulder, Colo., for yesterday’s 57-16 win over the Buffaloes in addition to missing a victory earlier in the year against Tennessee in Eugene.
The 2012 honorable mention Pac-12 all-conference selection had caught two passes for 26 yards in three games this season and finishes his Oregon career with 34 receptions for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns.
According to the university’s official web site, Lyerla said his decision to leave wasn’t related to his suspension for Saturday’s Colorado game.
After the Ducks 57-16 win over the Buffaloes, Helfrich told reporters Lyerla was suspended for one game for ‘violating team rules’, but that he would return Sunday for treatment with a clean slate.
Which he did according to team officials.
Reports surfaced Lyerla attended Sunday’s treatment session with trainers and his teammates and then spoke with Helfrich to relay his decision to leave the program.
“I love everyone at Oregon,…everyone’s on good terms, I believe,” Lyerla was quoted as saying on the university web site.
“Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on.”
Lyerla began his Oregon career in 2011 as a highly recruited athlete out of Hillsboro High School.
In his first two years, Lyerla played a total of 25 games – 12 his freshman year and 13 last season.
In those 25 games, Lyerla grabbed 32 receptions for 539 yards and 11 touchdowns. Lyerla was also used in the backfield in special offensive sets by then coach Chip Kelly.
As a ball carrier, Lyerla rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries and 1 touchdown.
By all accounts, this year ( Lyerla’s junior season ) was supposed to be his breakout year.
Having missed two games however, it’s been anything but a breakout season.
Lyerla sat out the Tennessee game due to an illness and remained in Eugene over the weekend missing the Colorado game due to his suspension for violating team rules.
In the three games Lyerla played this season, he caught just 2 passes for 26 yards and rushed 3 times for 17 yards and 1 touchdown.
It’s been widely speculated there was more going on with Lyerla that wasn’t brought to the public’s attention.
In a report Monday by Comcast’s Aaron Fentress, Fentress cites team sources that Lyerla was suspended for the Colorado game for repeatedly being late or absent for team activities. The report went on to say Helfrich was fed up and warned Lyerla that he risked being removed from the team if he missed or was late for another team activity.
After Sunday’s report that Lyerla was leaving the team, Helfrich made a brief statement.
“We wish Colt nothing but the best in the future, and will support him in any way we can,” said Helfrich.
Lyerla was also brief in his statement.
“I wish nothing but the best for coach Helfrich and the team,” Lyerla said.
“I love the University of Oregon and am so thankful for every opportunity that I had. I’m going to use everything I learned from this program and do my best to be successful in whatever happens in the future.”
On Monday, after the teams morning workout to begin preparations for the Washington Huskies, Helfrich didn’t elaborate on Lyerla’s choice to leave only saying he wished him well.
Special Teams and TE coach Tom Osborne was also asked Monday about his reaction to Lyerla’s decision to leave the team and simply said ‘he’s never surprised when it comes to Colt.’