Jonathan Taylor, the sophomore defensive lineman who was arrested on Tuesday on an aggravated assault/family violence charge, was dismissed from the team Wednesday afternoon, just hours after being released from jail.
Taylor was released from Athens-Clarke County Jail on a $5,000 bond at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. His McWhorter Hall residence on the UGA campus was being packed up by 1:30 p.m. and UGA issued a news release that Taylor had been kicked off the team at 2:47 p.m. There still has been no comment from Georgia coaches or administrators.
Taylor could not be reached for comment, but his high school coach spoke on his behalf.
“That kid is struggling right now,” said Chuck Conley, Taylor’s coach at Jenkins County High School. “He has obviously stubbed his toe. Let’s let the dust settle a bit, but that kid is distraught and tore up about everything. The track record doesn’t speak highly of him, but he’s not a bad person. He’s a good person. I trust him with my life.”
Taylor was placed into the custody of UGA Police at 4:45 a.m. Tuesday in response to a third-party complaint that he had physically assaulted his girlfriend during a domestic dispute at McWhorter Hall dormitory. Police said evidence and witness accounts indicate the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Taylor “choked” and “struck with a closed fist” his 5-11, 170-pound female victim.
It was Taylor’s second run-in with the law this year. In March, he was one of four Georgia football players arrested for theft by deception after they were caught double-cashing meal reimbursement checks. Taylor had received pretrial diversion treatment on those charges, was ordered to do community service and allowed to stay on the team without facing suspension. That matter will now be revisited in State Court.
Taylor, who played at Jenkins County High, was listed as a third-team nose guard on the Bulldogs’ preseason depth chart. That position also is manned by senior Mike Thornton and junior Chris Mayes. Taylor played in 10 games and had nine tackles and a sack as a redshirt freshman last season.
Conley wasn’t sure what Taylor’s next move would be other than to come home Millen, for now. He hopes Taylor will be able to resurrect his football career somewhere.
“I don’t what his options are,” Conley said. “We’re going to get him some place. We’ve got to get him a chance to get a diploma and be a taxpayer and not a tax-taker.”