Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

The troubling story of Colt Lyerla added another chapter on Sunday, as Tigard police arrested the former Oregon star for heroin possession.

The news was first reported by Tim Brown of the Oregonian, and according to the Washington County Sheriff, he is being held on $2,000 bail.

Lyerla starred at Hillsboro High School, becoming one of the top recruits in the country, before eventually taking his talents to the University of Oregon. Expectations for Lyerla were sky high while he was in Eugene, and while he showed glimpses of his star power, off the field issues derailed his career.

Lyerla played in 15 games his first two seasons at Oregon, amassing 469 yards from scrimmage to go with seven touchdowns. He was expected to see an expanded role and be a key cog for the Ducks his junior year, but that is where the wheels started to fall off.

After playing poorly in the first two games of 2013, Lyerla missed a key game vs. Tennessee due to “circumstances.” The circumstances weren’t clear, but it was clear that Lyerla was falling out of favor within the Oregon program. He was later suspended for a violation of team rules, and shortly thereafter announced he was leaving the program for “personal reasons.”

Just weeks after leaving the program Lyerla was arrested on charges of cocaine possession, a charge he would plead guilty to in order to pursue his NFL dream.

However, the cocaine charge was in the forefront of the minds of every NFL GM as the 2014 draft approached.

Prior to the draft, Lyerla discussed his past with Chase Goodbread of College Football 24/7:

            Lyerla's troubled timeline is a lengthy one. He was dismissed from the Oregon football team in October for an unspecified team rules violation. On Thursday, he left it unspecified, but let               on that it was no small matter to him personally.

            "I can't really say too much about that, but it's something I deeply, deeply regret and it's a mistake I'll have to live with the rest of my life," he said.

            That wasn't the only issue Lyerla has dealt with. Weeks after his dismissal, Lyerla was arrested for cocaine possession when police witnessed him using the drug in his car. He later ran                   from police, compounding his troubles, when they attempted to continue the investigation at his residence. Lyerla spent a day in jail and another nine days working on a road crew.

           "That was huge for me," he said. "It gave me a lot of time to self-reflect and realize that's a place I never want to be again."

Lyerla sounded remorsefull, but his past was too much to overcome. Lyerla went undrafted, but was eventually signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. Lyerla impressed during Packers camp, drawing comparisons to Rob Gronkowski, but it all came crumbling down. During a team practice Lyerla tore his PCL and MCL, and later reached a settlement for his release in August of 2014. Many experts thought the move was just a hiccup. A chance for the Packers to free up cap space and a roster spot, then bring Lyerla back when he was healthy. These thoughts never materialized. Due in large part to his off the field issues, Lyerla would never wear an NFL uniform again. 

Lyerla was arrested on suspicion of DUI in September of that same year, as his off the field struggled continued.

Lyerla stayed out of the news until November of 2015, but this time it was good news, and it looked like the troubled star had finally found the right path.

The Arena Football League came knocking on his door, and his hometown Portland Steel signed him to a contract. The first game of the season saw an electric Moda Center crowd cheering on the former hometown hero, and Lyerla himself said “it feels good to be the hometown kid.” But this feeling, too, was short lived. In week two against the Orlando Predators Lyerla injured his shoulder, and was subsequently put on the IR.

As Lyerla said in 2014, he never wanted to be in a bad place again. Unfortunately, he didn’t listen to his own advice. Another lost football job resulted in another run in with the law for Lyerla. The story has grown dull. Lyerla has been arrested enough time now that it is almost non-news. But for some reason, he resonates with us. Maybe it is because he was the hometown kid we all rooted for. Maybe it is because he was the Oregon Duck we all wanted to see at the next level. Or maybe we continue to pay attention because of how sad the story is: A man with the talent to be the best couldn't get out of his own way.

The heroin arrest last Sunday may be the final nail in the coffin for Lyerla. If it wasn’t already, the NFL dream is certainly dead. With cocaine and heroin on his record, he will probably never see the AFL again, either.  The only career he has sustained up to this point is that of a career criminal. 

For the sake of Lyerla and all those who love and root for him, let’s hope this career fizzles out like the rest.

Steel Set To Open Four Game Home Stand Beginning This Weekend

Steel Set To Open Four Game Home Stand Beginning This Weekend

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Steel return home to Moda Center after spending eight of their last nine games on the road. The beginning of the four game home stand begins this Saturday, June 18 against the Cleveland Gladiators with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m.

Following this Saturday, the Steel will host the Philadelphia Soul on Monday, June 27 with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. A game that can be seen nationally on Univision Deportes. After the league observes a bye week for the July 4th holiday, Portland will host the Orlando Predators on Saturday, July 9th followed by another visit from a Florida team, the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday, July 16.




Week 12               6/18/2016            Sat.        Cleveland Gladiators at Portland Steel   7:00 p.m.

Week 13               6/27/2016            Mon.     Philadelphia Soul at Portland Steel                         7:00 p.m.

Week 14                                                               BYE WEEK

Week 15               7/09/2016            Sat.        Orlando Predators at Portland Steel                      7:00 p.m.

Week 16               7/16/2016            Sat.        Jacksonville Sharks at Portland Steel                      7:00 p.m.

Week 17               7/23/2016            Sat.        Portland Steel at Tampa Bay Storm                         2:00 p.m.

Week 18               8/1/2016              Mon.     Los Angeles Kiss at Portland Steel                           7:00 p.m.

For information on tickets and the latest PDX Steel news, please visit 






LAS VEGAS (June 13, 2016) – In light of the recent tragedy in Orlando, FL, the Arena Football League has announced that all teams will wear an “ORL” helmet sticker across the League this weekend in support of the City of Orlando, the home of one of its member teams, the Orlando Predators.  In addition, there will be a moment of silence observed prior to kickoff at each of the League’s home venues.

“Together we mourn the loss of lives and injuries suffered in this horrific tragedy in the early hours of June 12,” AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera said.  “We commend the heroic actions and courage of Orlando’s first responders, emergency teams, and government officials working diligently to overcome the horrible aftermath of this tragic event.  Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims, their families and friends and the entire Orlando community.”

In addition, the Orlando Predators will wear their home “all black” uniforms in their road game at the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. #ORLANDOSTRONG

About the AFL

The Arena Football League enters its 29th Season in 2016.  Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country.  The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN.  For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League, follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).