Georgia Southern suspends starting quarterback, defensive end after arrests

Sports

STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – Two Georgia Southern Football players were arrested this week and suspended from all football-related activities until further notice, according to head coach Chad Lunsford.

Shai Werts, the junior quarterback from Clinton, South Carolina, was arrested Wednesday in Saluda, South Carolina, and charged with speeding and misdemeanor possession of cocaine after residue was discovered on the hood of his car.

Quan Griffin, the junior defensive end, of Glen Saint Mary, Florida, was arrested in Baker County, Florida, and charged in conjunction with a domestic dispute. Jail records show he was booked Thursday on multiple charges, including aggravated battery and burglary.

His bond, according to those records, is set at $345,000.

According to an incident report from the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, Werts was speeding in the county around 9 p.m. when an officer attempted to pull him over. Werts reportedly called 911 because he felt unsafe pulling over on the highway he was driving on. Once he got further into town, he pulled over.

The officer told him he should have pulled over several miles sooner, as it was a main road. Werts was placed under arrest.

The officer then asked about the white powder on the hood of the car, and Werts said it was “bird poop.” The officer tested the substance with two separate cocaine kits and both were positive. Werts claimed he had no idea where the cocaine would have come from.

“It had appeared either the substance was thrown on the vehicle and had been attempted to be washed off by the windshield wipers, and wiper fluid as there was white powder substance around the areas of the wiper fluid dispensary,” the report reads.

News 3’s Connor Delprete was in Statesboro Friday morning at the team’s first day of practice. Neither Werts nor Griffin was present.

“These suspensions are in place to protect Shai, Quan and the university,” Lunsford told Delprete. “It will allow us to gather more information.”

No word on how long those suspensions will last.

The head coach says situations like this “hurt,” but he knows his team can get through it.

“You are always going to have bumps in the road and I think the guys understand that hey, it’s man up or become closer as a football team and become closer to bond,” Lunsford said. That’s the one thing I will say to Georgia Southern. I’m not going to predict win-loss record but I will say this is a tight football team and they have each other’s backs.”

These cases are pending, so the university will not be able to add any other comment.

Last season, Werts started all 13 games and was the only starting quarterback in the division not to throw a single interception. Griffin also played in all 13 games last season.

Meanwhile, teammates say they will continue to support Werts and Griffin.

“Those are our brothers through anything. Through thick and thin, when the good times come, the bad times come. I’m gonna love them and we will support them through anything,” running back Logan Wright said.

“We are here to support no matter what,” said player Wesley Kennedy III. “We are a brotherhood here and we are going to stand on that.”

The Eagles are set to play Louisiana State University on Aug. 31. It is unknown at this time if Werts or Griffin will be on the field.

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