Georgia freshmen arrested in BB gun incident

(USA Today Sports Images)
(USA Today Sports Images)

Two Georgia freshmen were arrested Tuesday morning.

According to, defensive tackle Julian Rochester and cornerback Chad Clay were charged with second degree criminal damage and having a weapon in a school zone, both of which are felonies.

The weapon involved was a BB gun, Georgia officials told reporters.

"I'm disappointed with the poor judgment of Julian and Chad,” UGA head coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “We expect full compliance with the policies of the University and of our football program from all our student-athletes. Information is still being gathered but they will be disciplined in an appropriate manner."

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The two were booked into Athens-Clarke County jail just after midnight and remained in custody as of 9 a.m., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Obviously, we're terribly disappointed; very, very poor decisions," Smart said Tuesday morning in an interview on AM-680 in Atlanta. "The most upsetting part is I got to sit in both these kids homes in December in front of their mom and dad, and calling their mom and dad was probably the toughest part. Their moms and dads are even more disappointed in them than anybody can imagine."

Rochester and Clay, who are roommates, were apparently shooting the BB gun in their dorm room.

From the AJC:

According to Athens attorney Kim Stephens, the players apparently were shooting solo cups in their dorm room with a BB gun, which left marks on the door and in other areas of the room. The way the statute reads, anything that shoots a projectile — “including a straw and spitball” — fits the definition of a weapon on campus.

“Every kid eating with a steak knife in the campus dining hall commits a felony under the statute,” Stephens said.

Both players enrolled early at Georgia as part of the 2016 recruiting class. Rochester, a four-star recruit, is “expected to play a key role” on UGA’s defensive line, according to UGASports. Clay, a three-star recruit, is an expected reserve.

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Another Georgia player, defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter, was arrested in March for underage possession of alcohol and false identification. Smart suspended Ledbetter for the season opener against North Carolina.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!