LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- Responding to his arrest earlier this month on a charge of third-degree rape, former UL and LSU football player Jeryl Brazil has gone on the defensive in hopes of salvaging his chance at an NFL career.
“I, Jeryl Brazil, have been wrongfully accused of a malicious act,” Brazil wrote in a statement sent to The Daily Advertiser.
“The allegations against me concerning the night of April 13, 2018, that have recently been reported in multiple media outlets are completely false.
“This has taken a major negative impact on me, and my family mentally, socially, professionally, and legally,” Brazil added in his statement. “Words cannot begin to express the anguish of how I feel to be wrongfully accused.”
Brazil, 24, was booked April 14 on an active arrest warrant.
According to a Lafayette Police Department report, his victim “stated that after a night out downtown, herself, friends, and roommates returned to her residence,” that “the known male suspect went into her room and began to force himself on her” and that “she attempted to flee the room however he held her down and had sexual intercourse with her.”
“The things being said about me and what happened that night are not true,” Brazil also said in his statement to The Advertiser.
“I have worked tirelessly to put myself in position to have the honor of being on an NFL Team,” he added, “and these untrue allegations are putting a huge cloud over my name.”
The highly recruited Brazil played one game for LSU at running back as a freshman in 2013, then was dismissed from the program later that season following a trio of arrests in Baton Rouge.
After tearing an anterior cruciate knee ligament in his first game for a Mississippi junior college in 2014, he joined the UL track-and-field team and later the Cajuns football team.
Brazil appeared in nine UL football games, playing mostly on special teams and as a reserve defensive back, then was dismissed from the program for disciplinary reasons after the 2015 season.
He remained with the Cajuns track program, however, and went on to earn second-team NCAA All-American honors at 60 meters indoors earlier this year.
Brazil left the UL outdoor track team earlier this month, prior to his arrest and alleged crime.
Also earlier this month, he turned heads by running a 40-yard dash timed at 4.35 seconds in front of scouts from multiple NFL teams during UL’s Pro Day.
Brazil hoped the showing would lead to an invite to an NFL camp as a free agent if he did not get selected in the late rounds of this week’s NFL Draft.
The Loranger High product and UL graduate was arrested nine days later.
“I am completely confident that as the facts actually come out my name will be cleared,” Brazil said in closing his statement. “I hope and look forward to accomplishing my dream of playing in the NFL.”
According to Louisiana statute, third-degree rape, also referred to legally as “simple rape,” involves non-consensual sexual activity and is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor for not more than 25 years.