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Two UGA freshmen arrested on felony BB Gun charges

Julian Rochester
UGA DL Julian Rochester. (David Barnes/UGA)

Georgia had their early enrollees come to Athens in January with hopes of getting more experience and preparing them to have a significant role on the team, however that may have taken a turn for the worse for two potential stars.

Freshmen defensive lineman Julian Rochester and cornerback Chad Clay were arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. The players are booked on two felonies, possessing a weapon in a school zone and criminal damage to the second-degree. The charges were tied to shooting a BB gun on campus.

Both players were booked at similar times, with Clay at 12:13 a.m. and Rochester at 12:29 a.m.

At the current time, both players are still being held behind bars. While the weapon charges have been given no disposition of no bond, the criminal damage charge entails a bond of $5,000 per player.

Rochester had been getting first-team repetitions in practice, as he was expected to fill the void left by Jordan Jenkins. However, it now seems as if his status on the team is in question. The same goes for Clay as his potential is evident, and was competing for a spot in the secondary’s rotation.

This is the third disciplinary occurrence off of the field for Kirby Smart. Chauncey Rivers will serve a three-game suspension due to a second marijuana arrest in December. Jonathan Ledbetter will serve a one-game suspension in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game due to a similar marijuana-related arrest.

UGA head coach Kirby Smart released a statement on the situation involving Rochester and Clay.

“I’m disappointed with the poor judgment of Julian and Chad,” Smart said. “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.”



  1. 90Concept

    Apr 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    No big deal—kirby can just suspend them for the first game against that creampuff.

  2. DawgZilla

    Apr 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I understand the need to protect our kids while they are at school, but these “zero tolerance” rules have just gotten ridiculously way out of hand. A BB gun is not a firearm. While it could be a rather dangerous toy in the wrong hands, it should not, under any circumstance, be considered a “deadly weapon”. I do not believe these young men were hell bent on violence of any sort. They didn’t harm anyone, or even threaten to do so. If they shot out over $ 500 worth of windows, then fine, charge them with 2nd degree criminal damage. But a “weapon” in a school zone? C’mon. It’s probably their first offense as an adult, so it should probably be reduced to a misdemeanor. Make them pay for the damages, do some community service, and then let them get back in school where they belong. A week of running stadium steps and suicide sprints, along with a 1-2 game suspension hopefully will open their eyes to the gravity of their extremely poor judgment. I’m the first to say kick ’em to the curb for a crime of violence, but this incident doesn’t qualify.

    • Keith Brown

      Apr 12, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      I agree. It’s not like they set out to kill someone w/ a BB gun. It was just young people trying to have fun. They took it too far. Set the fine and call it a day. Ya’ll take things way too far.

  3. zzggyy

    Apr 12, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Wait! The GA legislature wants open carry of firearms on campus yet these guys get arrested for “felony possession of a BB gun”?!

  4. Rick the Dawg

    Apr 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

    The Athens police and UGA campus police dept are hell bent on destroying the UGA football program !!!! A felony for a BB gun you have got to be kidding me !!! Guess we won’t be able to field a DL for first 2 or 3 games and we can kiss the 2016 ,2018 recruiting class good bye because no recruit wants to be harressed like this !!! This is a bunch of Bull Sh** !!! Thanks alot UGA campus Police for destroying our football team !!!

  5. Darnell Moonda Fugate

    Apr 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Stupid is as stupid does. I believe they knew the rules but chose to disregard them. Any half smart person knows that everything you do has consequences – good or bad. Be smart enough to figure out what will/could happen BEFORE you do something. If you choose to not follow rules then at least be willing to face the consequences you brought upon yourself..

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