STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Shai Werts collected his thoughts and exhaled slowly before telling reporters about the most ‘trying time’ in his life.
“It was frustration more than anything because I know I didn’t do anything wrong,” Werts said Saturday morning. “If you know me you know I wouldn’t do stuff like that.”
The junior signal-caller was arrested and charged with speeding and misdemeanor possession of cocaine during a traffic stop in Saluda, South Carolina on July 31st. Officers found a substance on the hood of Werts’ car and the arrest report states it tested positive for cocaine.
Werts’ drug charge was dropped Thursday after additional testing revealed the substance came back negative. The 11th Circuit Solicitor’s Office added that even if it did test positive, there would have been no way to prove that it belonged to Werts.
“It’s been real hard,” Werts said. “Just dealing with everything. Everyone knows what’s going on. It’s the most trying time in my life.”
The quarterback was suspended from all football-related activities for two days. Since his arrest, Werts and Coach Chad Lunsford stayed in constant communication about the truth of what happened the night of July 31st.
“When everything came to light and showed everything he was saying was true that built even more clout for him on this football team,” Lunsford explained. “His leadership becomes even stronger because [his teammates] he’s true and that matters. Is he perfect? No. Am I perfect? No. We are all going to make mistakes. Our guys know even more he’s a guy that can lead this football team.”
Werts took time Saturday to thank his friends, family, coaching staff, and school staff that supported him as the case played out. Nose tackle Ty Phillips said he texted Werts the moment he heard about the arrest to check on him and let him know the team had his back.
“I thought to myself ‘this is not Shai, this is not Shai,” Phillips said, when asked about his reaction to the drug charge. “I’ve known Shai for three years and have known for him not to be this type of guy.”
Werts and the Eagles open up the season at LSU on August 31st.