Once a top prospect, Lyerla will likely fall to the bottom rungs of the NFL draft.
News broke early this evening that junior tight end Colt Lyerla has withdrawn from the University of Oregon and is no longer on the football team. Lyerla had already missed two games this season, including yesterday's win over Colorado, and informed head coach Mark Helfrich of his decision to withdraw from school earlier this afternoon.
GoDucks.com's, GoDucks.com's Rob Moseley was the first to report the news and quotes Lyerla as saying that "I love everyone at Oregon; everyone's on good terms, I believe. Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on."
The move leaves Oregon with freshman Johnny Mundt and sophomore Pharaoh Brown as the main tight ends, with sophomore Evan Baylis likely to assume third-string duties. Lyerla said that he intends to pursue a professional career – likely the NFL draft next spring – and that he's thankful for the opportunity he had at the University of Oregon.
That being said, Lyerla's departure may keep the Ducks from using as many two tight end sets for the rest of the season, as Lyerla's absence is a big hit to depth at the position.
UPDATE – 7:10 PM: Aaron Fentress of CSNNW is reporting that that Lyerla was suspended for the Colorado game for being late to and missing team activities, and left the team rather than risk being dismissed for future mishaps.
We'll add more to this story as it develops.