Former UVA player Ausar Walcott turned himself in to police in Passaic, NJ last night and is charged with first-degree attempted murder following an incident outside a strip club. Reports indicate that Walcott punched a man in the head, and that man is now in critical condition. The charges also include second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree endangering an injured victim.
This isn't the first time that Walcott has had problems with the law. In 2011, Walcott (along with 2 other Virginia players) were each arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault following a fight at a JMU apartment. All 3 players were suspended indefinitely, with Walcott eventually earning his place back on the team after the charges against him were dropped. The other two players involved plead guilty and did not return to UVA.
Walcott's UVA career began under coach Al Groh, when he was recruited as a safety. Though he never actually saw any game time there, safety was his position during his redshirt season and his first year on the field (when he saw time on special teams only). Once Mike London came into town, Walcott was moved to OLB. He spent two seasons at OLB before being moved once again, this time to DE. He spent his senior season at DE, but was signed by the Browns as an OLB.
Walcott was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent during this offseason, and has participated in the team's offseason mini-camps. As an undrafted free agent, Walcott was fighting an uphill battle to make the team. This will not help. Even if he is exonerated of the charges, the arrest looks bad on his record. With some high profile NFL players dealing with legal issues over the past few years, teams are wary of players who could embarrass themselves and their organizations. It was always unlikely that Walcott would make the team, but I would guess that his chances now are essentially zero.
Stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn and Dawgs By Nature for any updates to this situation.