Jalen Carter was recently charged with reckless driving in the wake of a crash that killed a Georgia teammate and a recruiting staffer, but it wasn’t the first time he was driving dangerously.
Newly released bodycam footage shows that the potential first pick in the NFL Draft had been pulled over back in September for being “reckless” on the road.
Carter was also given citations for his tints – his driver’s side window tint was too dark, and in the state of Georgia, windshields may not be tinted at all.
“Your break is you’re not going to jail, because I’d be in all types of news,” the officer told Carter while explaining he was “not smart” while driving.
The cop later said that he would have let Carter slide had he not been “reckless,” but it’s not known how fast Carter was going.
“We wouldn’t be talking if you were going the speed limit. I could care less about tints, but when you do something dumb, stupid like that, I’m gonna stack stuff on you. . . . That was reckless,” the cop continued.
The officer said that Carter was the third Georgia football player he had pulled over in the last two days, and he had pulled over Dylan Fairchild “a minute ago” for “doing 70” in the same area. However, despite the recent string of arrests, quarterback Stetson Bennett, who was arrested in January for public intoxication, says the Bulldogs do not have a culture issue.
“Those were individual mistakes that those individuals are responsible for. Not a culture issue,” he said Friday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“Absolutely not. I would say we’re far from it,” head coach Kirby Smart told ESPN on Friday when asked the same thing. “When you talk to people outside our program that come into it, they talk about what a great culture we do have, and we do an incredible job. Because I’ve got a lot of outside entities that come into our program and pour into these young men.
“Do we have perfect young men and women and players? Not necessarily. But I promise you this, that’s the intent: for us to grow these guys and get them better. And I feel really good about the culture within our program.”
Carter was initially in Indianapolis on Wednesday to take part in the NFL Scouting Combine but rushed back to Atlanta, where an arrest warrant was issued for his alleged involvement in the crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy. He was booked at 11:33 p.m. ET in the Athens-Clarke County Jail and released 16 minutes later.
He returned to the combine on Thursday but did not take part in any on-field activities.
The 21-year-old is accused of racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy, 24, which led to the wreck. The crash occurred just hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight championship with a parade ceremony.
LeCroy was traveling at 104 mph with a BAC of .197, more than double the legal limit in the state of Georgia.
Carter expects to be “fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing” and “answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented.”
He is listed as the top overall prospect in this year’s draft. The Chicago Bears own the top pick but are reportedly open to shopping it. Carter was a five-star recruit out of Apopka High School in Florida. He was a unanimous All-American and All-SEC First-Teamer this season. In 2021, he made the All-SEC Second Team.
If Carter is the first pick, it will be the second year in a row in which a Georgia Bulldog was taken to begin the draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars took defensive end Travon Walker first overall last year.