Another Georgia Bulldogs football player arrested

Wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette was arrested Monday in Oconee County
Georgia wide receiver De'Nylon Morrissette warms-up before their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, November 12, 2022, in Starkville, Mississippi. Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Georgia wide receiver De'Nylon Morrissette warms-up before their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, November 12, 2022, in Starkville, Mississippi. Jason Getz /

ATHENS — Georgia wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette was arrested Monday morning in Oconee County and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely and Class D driver’s license restrictions.

The charges were the result of a 3:30 a.m. accident on Georgia Highway 316, according to Oconee County Sheriff James Hale. Morrissette was determined to be the at-fault driver, Hale said.

According to the police report, Morrissette was driving a gray Charger and hit a white Subaru from behind. The report states witnesses to the accident said that the Charger passed their vehicle from the right lane at a high rate of speed and struck the Subaru.

According to the report, when the officer approached the Charger, he smelled the strong odor of marijuana and noticed Morrissette had red bloodshot eyes. The officer viewed a green film on Morrissette’s tongue. Morrissette agreed to give a blood sample, which was done at St. Mary’s Hospital before he was transported to the Oconee County Jail.

The report also states that a black digital scale was found in Morrissette’s vehicle.

Morrissette, 19, was booked into the Oconee County Jail in Watkinsville at 10:10 a.m. Monday and released an hour and 45 minutes later on a $1,721 cash bond, according to records.

Morrissette’s arrest represented the third driving-related arrest for the Bulldogs since last September, when defensive back Javon Bullard was charged with DUI in Athens. Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson was charged with racing and reckless driving in February. His arrest came after his car was identified Jan. 15 as one police were seeking from an incident that took place on campus Jan. 10. Dumas-Johnson and teammate Smael Mondon were questioned on the scene of a double-fatality crash involving members of the Georgia football team Jan. 15, the morning after the Bulldogs’ national championship celebration and parade.

Offensive lineman Devin Willock was killed in that crash as a backseat passenger in a UGA-leased vehicle driven by recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy. Police determined that LeCroy was driving 104 mph with a blood-alcohol content that was more than twice the legal limit before the vehicle left the road.

Georgia junior Jalen Carter also was charged with racing and reckless driving for his involvement in that accident after police determined he was driving alongside LeCroy’s vehicle moments before the crash. A month before he was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the ninth pick of the NFL draft, Carter agreed to pay fines and do community service in a negotiated settlement with Athens-Clarke County prosecutors on those misdemeanor charges. Both UGA and Carter are now facing civil litigation from victims in the crash.

Morrissette’s arrest came less than three months after he received a ticket in Athens for driving 36 mph over the speed limit.

The morning of Feb. 23, an officer stopped Morrissette after clocking his 2019 Dodge Charger going 81 in a 45-mph zone on Atlanta Highway, about four miles west of downtown Athens.

Body camera footage obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed the officer scolding Morrissette. He said other Georgia players recently had been charged with speeding and referred to the accident that killed Willock and LeCroy.

“Y’all got to slow down,” the officer told Morrissette. “We’ve been getting all of y’all – a lot. You obviously know about the other wreck and stuff. Y’all got to slow down.”

The officer added, referring to Georgia’s head coach: “I’m sure Kirby (Smart) wouldn’t be happy about all of this.”

Less than three weeks before the speeding citation, Athens police had documented another encounter with Morrissette.

On Feb. 4, a Saturday evening, a resident of Morrissette’s apartment complex complained about loud music coming from his unit. When officers arrived, they detected a “very strong odor of marijuana” coming from Morrissette’s apartment, according to police documents reviewed by the AJC.

“Also, I could hear music through the walls,” an officer noted. “Mr. Morrissette was advised that if we responded back out here for the same noise violation that he would be issued a summons for it.”

Police records do not indicate that officers acted on their suspicions about marijuana use in the apartment.

The Bulldogs are reigning, back-to-back national champions in football. Smart, when he finally answered questions about the crash and subsequent arrests March 14, insisted that there is not a culture problem within the program when it comes obeying laws.

“We try to educate and make sure our players understand those risks, but the ongoing part of that is to continue to educate them and let them know,” Smart said. “That’s a programming piece for us we do in the fall and we do in the spring. We spend a lot of time educating our players on the dangers they can get into. We’ll continue to do that, and we treat it very seriously.”

Morrissette is a 6-foot, 200-pound sophomore wide receiver from Stone Mountain. He played mainly on special teams last season, appearing in 11 games and catching four passes for 34 yards. He caught three passes for 15 yards in Georgia’s spring game.

About the Authors