Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is widely considered one of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, with plenty forecasting the Bulldogs product as a top-five pick. But the 21-year-old lineman was not present during media availability at the scouting combine Wednesday, minutes after Athens-Clarke County Police Department announced a warrant for his arrest. Carter had already been planning to skip workouts at the combine, but is now facing charges related to a fatal car crash in Georgia.
Carter was scheduled to meet with reporters and conduct a physical at the combine, according to NFL Media, but was not spotted in his position group early Wednesday. The highly touted prospect is still in Indianapolis, but won’t speak to the media as he’s in medical testing, per NFL executive Michael Signora.
Carter’s arrest warrant stems from the Jan. 15 car crash that killed a recruiting analyst and fellow football player from Georgia. Carter initially told investigating police he was nearly a mile away from the accident when it occurred, per reports, and initial police reports indicated Chandler LeCroy, the late recruiter, was driving too fast.
Two other cars were also on the scene of the accident, police have revealed, both of them driven by Georgia football players. Carter faces charges of reckless driving and racing, both misdemeanors.
“The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other,” police said in a statement. “Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash, the (car that crashed) was traveling at about 104 miles per hour.”
Carter, meanwhile, has since commented on — and downplayed — the latest developments in a statement posted to social media:
This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens Georgia [sic] Police Department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing. Numerous media reports also have circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of Jan. 15, 2023. It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known … I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.
It’s unclear how the circumstances surrounding Carter’s alleged involvement in the investigated accident may affect his draft stock.
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