Alec Ogletree has a lot of explaining to do. (Getty Images)
“Last weekend, my client Alec Ogletree was pulled over for speeding and a lane violation in Arizona. After the officers smelled alcohol, they conducted tests and also cited him for DUI. Although Alec regrets this incident terribly, he is thankful that there was no accident and that no one was hurt. Because this matter is still pending, we cannot comment further publicly at this time.”
Ogletree was also suspended four games at the start of the 2012 for a "violation of team rules," which, according to reports, was actually a violation of the team's substance-abuse policy. He still managed to make All-SEC Second team with 98 tackles in nine regular games, including 15 stops each against South Carolina and Georgia Tech. He added 13 tackles and a sack in the Bulldogs' 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1. He declared his intention to make himself available for the draft soon after.
Sadly, Ogletree has more examples of sub-par judgment. One day before what was supposed to be his first collegiate start, he was arrested for the theft of a motor scooter helmet that belonged to a member of Georgia's track and field team. Head coach Mark Richt suspended Ogletree for one game.
Based on his game tape alone, Ogletree was projected by most as a first-round prospect, even after the four-game suspension, because his athleticism and pure speed make him the ideal player for the NFL's new linebacker template -- the half-field defender who can cover slot receivers and tight ends as well as he can slam downfield on run fits. Had he simply gone into the combine interview process and had only that suspension to answer for, he'd still be in pretty good shape. Teams realize that young men make mistakes, and this is a player who explodes off the game film.
Now, however, Ogletree has a couple of things to deal with. Not only will he be interrogated by teams who want to know about a pattern of questionable behavior, he'll also be painted with the stigma of a guy who was, quite frankly, too dumb to realize that he needed to keep his nose clean so soon before the biggest interview situation of his life.
Ogletree had a good shot at being the first linebacker selected in this draft, but that's certainly in question now. LSU's Kevin Minter and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o could be rising up as a result of Ogletree's bad judgment. And Te'o, who was probably not looking forward to answering a bunch of questions about the recent and well-publicized fake girlfriend hoax, could not have asked for a better situation for himself. What Te'o went through was a simple embarrassment in comparison, and certainly doesn't seem so serious in the harsh light of comparison.
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