Georgia star Jalen Carter statement: plans to be ‘fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing’

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) celebrates with fans after their win against the LSU Tigers during the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 50-30. (Jason Getz /

INDIANAPOLIS — Jalen Carter is returning to Athens intent on exoneration after being charged with racing and reckless driving related to the tragic crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy on Jan. 15.

Carter, an All-American defensive tackle from Georgia projected to be selected in the Top 3 picks of the 2023 NFL Draft, was scheduled to speak at the NFL Combine on Wednesday morning. reported Carter misled police, changing his story and ultimately acknowledging he was beside the Ford Expedition when it crashed.

ESPN analyst Todd McShay questioned Carter’s character earlier during the NFL Draft evaluation process, drawing great criticism from Georgia players and fans.

Carter had received a citation last September for driving 89 mph in a 45 mph zone, per the report.

Nolan Smith took up for Carter on Wednesday morning, before news of the warrants being issued had surfaced.

“I just want to go ahead and clear this up right now to y’all, JC is just misunderstood,” Smith said. “He is probably one of my favorite teammates to play with.”

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