On Sunday afternoon, Oregon junior tight end Colt Lyerla withdrew from the University of Oregon. The junior tight end told Rob Moseley of GoDucks.com that it was simply the right time for him to leave.
“Just for my own benefit,” Lyerla said, “it was time to move on.”
Lyerla added that the decision to withdraw was completely his and that his suspension for Saturday’s game against Colorado didn’t play into it. Late Sunday, Lyerla talked with head coach Mark Helfrich to tell him about his decision, saying afterwards that he and Helfrich “left on good terms” after their conversation.
Lyerla doesn’t plan on transferring to another college team, either. The five-star recruit out of high school said he’ll be pursuing a professional career.
“I love the University of Oregon and am so thankful for every opportunity that I had,” Lyerla said. “I’m going to use everything I learned from this program and do my best to be successful in whatever happens in the future.”
Helfrich and Lyerla both said they wish “nothing but the best” for each other and their futures. Helfrich added that he and the rest of the football program “will support him (Lyerla) in any way we can.” Lyerla said multiple times that he loves both the school of Oregon and the football program.
Lyerla, who starred at Hillsboro High School (Ore.), started 12 games in his Oregon career, catching 34 passes for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns on 16 career carries.
This season, Lyerla rushed for 17 yards and one touchdown on three carries. He caught two passes for 26 yards and didn’t record a receiving touchdown.
Johnny Mundt and Pharaoh Brown split playing time at tight end in place of Lyerla against Colorado (Helfrich said Lyerla was suspended Saturday for violating team rules). They each caught one pass. It was Brown’s first game of the season after recovering from a foot injury.
Mundt had a huge game two weeks earlier against Tennessee, catching five passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Lyerla missed that game, as well, due to what Helfrich described as “circumstances.”