Two Georgia football early enrollees, including a defensive tackle ranked in the top 10 in the Class of 2016, were charged with two felonies for possessing and shooting a BB gun, police said.
As reported by DawgNation.com and others, All-American defensive tackle Julian Rochester and defensive back Charles Clay were charged with having a weapon in a school zone and criminal damage in the second degree. The report cited the online booking site for Athens-Clarke County.
They were booked shortly after midnight and remained in jail early Tuesday morning.
Rochester, a four-star recruit from McEachern High (Powder Springs, Ga.), played in the Army All-American Bowl and was ranked as the No. 10 defensive tackle in the class and No. 68 player overall, according to the 247Sports Composite. Rochester was the Georgia state AAAAAA Defensive Player of the Year last fall.
Clay was a three-star recruit from Peachtree Ridge (Suwanee, Ga.) and was ranked among the top 50 cornerbacks.
In a statement, coach Kirby Smart said, “I’m disappointed with the poor judgment of Julian and Chad. 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.”
Shortly after the news broke, Rochester’s high school alma mater, tweeted a message of support: