UGA running back Crowell jailed on gun charges

Authorities arrested Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell early this morning on weapons charges at a police checkpoint near the University of Georgia campus.

Joe Johnson

Police booked the 19-year-old into jail at 3:37 a.m. on two felony charges — possession of a weapon in a school zone and possession of a firearm with an altered identification — and the misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed firearm, according to a Clarke County Jail booking report.

Athens-Clarke police said Crowell was arrested at about 2:20 a.m. at the vehicle checkpoint, at the intersection of East Campus Road and East Green Street.

After an officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana inside the car she searched it and found a 9mm Luger pistol with an altered identification number under the driver’s seat, according to police.

At the time, Crowell had four passengers in his car — one a Georgia teammate — but none were charged, police said.

An Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court judge later in the morning granted Crowell a $6,000 bond and placed him on a 10 p.m. curfew.

Crowell was ranked the country’s No. 1 running back and No. 4 prospect overall by ESPN Recruiting in 2011, but he had a rocky first season with the Bulldogs last year.

The sophomore ran 195 times for 850 yards with five touchdowns as a freshman, but was dogged by disciplinary problems throughout the summer.

He was benched for the first quarter of the Vanderbilt matchup in October, and sat out the entire game against New Mexico State the following month after reportedly failing a drug test.

Still, Crowell was named last season’s Associated Press SEC Freshman of the Year and teammates held high hopes for him.

“He’s a kid that I think will make a lot of noise this year if he keeps doing what he’s doing,” junior tight end Arthur Lynch said of his teammate in an interview three months ago. “I’m extremely proud of the way he’s handled the pressure postseason and now this preseason moving up to spring and eventually the fall.”

The Georgia athletic department has not yet commented on the arrest.

Crowell could face immediate suspension from the football team after a felony arrest, according to Georgia’s student-athlete handbook. A committee including Georgia athletic administrators will investigate the case and recommend a course of disciplinary action to athletic director Greg McGarity, according to the book.

No other Georgia tailback reached the 400-yard mark last season, yet the Bulldogs should not have a depth issue at the position if Crowell is suspended.

Rising junior Brandon Harton, a former walk-on who rushed for 247 yards and a touchdown last season, is returning, and rising senior Richard Samuel, who rushed for 240 yards and a touchdown, is back after sitting out part of last season recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the game against Florida.

Georgia also signed one of the nation’s most impressive group of tailbacks for the upcoming season. The incoming class of tailbacks includes Keith Marshall, a 5-star running back, and Todd Gurley, a 4-star running back.

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@Claypoulnott Not certain. Believe after this season. Try UGA ticket office on Monday.

4 hours ago