It Just Wasn’t Meant To Be


Kevin Cline

He came, he saw, but he didn’t conquer.  On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a not-so-beautiful story hit the Oregon Duck community, as former starting TE Colt Lyerla announced that he would be leaving the team and the university for personal reasons.  There were no details disclosed as to why Lyerla made his decision, but regardless of his reasoning, he will be missed on this National Championship-aspiring squad.

The former 5-star recruit out of Hillsboro, OR may have been the greatest physical specimen the Ducks have ever had the privilege of having in the program – other than Russ Francis.

At 6’5, 250, the beast that is Lyerla finished his career at the U of O with 34 receptions and 565 yards.  Not only was he a threat at the tight end position, but he also made a few guest appearances as a rusher, with 16 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns.  One memorable touchdown run included carrying QB Bryan Bennett over the goal line with him.

Colt And Coach Helfrich Talking Things Out, Ending On Good Terms

Kevin Cline

Coach Mark Helfrich has Colt’s ear.

Recently there was a minor incident between Lyerla and Coach Helfrich regarding reasons why Lyerla did not play against Tennessee.  Colt mentioned that he was leaving the Ducks on good terms, regardless of speculation about his relationship with Coach Helfrich.

According to Colt, although he is departing from the university, he will still look to pursue a professional career in the NFL.  His career at Oregon may not have been all he might have hoped, but his physical gifts and willingness to continue to get better will not go unnoticed by NFL scouts.

So, looking ahead, who will take Colt’s place as the next starting TE?  We’ve seen in Lyerla’s recent absence that both Johnny Mundt and Pharaoh Brown have split time filling in at the TE slot, and surely one of them will be named the next starter soon.

Colt will be missed, but with the Ducks’ depth at every position and a team attitude of “next man up,” they remain a viable national championship team.

Oregon’s schedule will soon present some hungry teams looking to knock out any big dreams the Ducks might have, starting with the Washington Huskies this weekend in Seattle.

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Dean Davis

Dean Davis

Dean Davis grew up for most of his life in the Bay Area. A huge 49er and Warrior fan. After moving to Eugene in 2010 he couldn't resist the urge to add the Ducks to his list of favorites, and is now aDuck fan for life. Dean is a Human Physiology student at the U of O who loves to play basketball and stay in shape during his free time. His favorite Duck of all time is Anthony Blake, a warrior on and off the field. You can Tweet Dean at @DeanDavisDaDuck

  • BrandonG

    All this talk at the beginning of the season about becoming more “mature” and he doesn’t even finish the semester. Lyerla has no idea how much harm he is doing to himself right now. If he can’t handle the “business” side of football at the college level (like making team meetings, not bringing shame to his team with disgusting social media behavior, or even being reliable), what makes him think that NFL teams will a) want to put up with that, or b) pay him anywhere near full value IF they do decide to take a chance? Sports tends to be a “what have you done for me lately” endeavor, and the last thing I remember Lyerla doing lately is dropping pass after pass after pass. Not exactly what NFL teams are usually looking for in a tight-end, and especially not in one that appears to have serious character flaws. Colt had most of the season to turn things around. Big games were around the corner where he could have worked hard, gotten his act together, and shined in front of huge audiences, (and prospective employers). But instead, this 250 lb man has chosen to abandon his team with little more than a whimper. How sad is that?

    • hokieduck

      I am afraid I agree with you, Brandon.

      I admit my first impression when I saw the headline that he left was disappointment and sadness, but that morphed almost instantly into resignation then into acceptance without appreciable regret.

      He was a *huge* talent. Huge. But he was apparently a cancer whose excision will, in the long run, benefit the Ducks.

      I feel certain that an NFL team will draft him. His athleticism and physical gifts are simply too big to not risk *something* on. But as Brandon mentions, above, that “something” just took a big financial hit for Colt. Rookie contracts are not negotiable for the most part. They are determined by the order of the picks and they last for 4 years. Colt may not even last in the league for 4 years.

      I cheered for him because he was a Duck, but I did so reluctantly because of his demonstrated character issues. I will always check out what he does and I certainly do not wish him anything but good luck, but I will not waste effort cheering him on.

      He is more than just a football player and he is no longer a child. Good luck to him but good riddance as well.