The class of quarterbacks eligible for the 2013 NFL draft is one of the strongest in recent memory entering the upcoming season. Excellent prospects with a diversity of strengths and playing styles will keep the pro scouts busy for months to come.
It will be difficult to separate quarterbacks like Matt Barkley (USC), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas), Geno Smith (West Virginia), Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) and Tyler Bray (Tennessee) if they all play up to their potential this year. One important tiebreaker will be that ever-prominent buzzword around draft time—"character."
Bray just gave NFL teams a reason to put a black mark in the character column of his scouting report. According to John Adams and Don Jacobs of GoVolsXtra, Bray and his roommate, Michael C. Grandinetti were drinking and throwing beer bottles and golf balls at a parked car on the night of Friday, July 20.
Knoxville Police Department spokesman Darrell DeBusk said no charges will be pressed because Bray reached out to the owner of the car and offered to pay for the damages to her car. What's troubling is that the incident on Friday night might not have been the only one Bray was responsible for.
The owner of the car, Bradi Hudson, did not actually witness Bray and Grandinetti throwing objects at her vehicle. According to Adams and Jacobs, it was another resident, Kirstie Allen, who left Hudson a note stating "I know what happened to your car" with her name and phone number.
On Monday, July 23, Allen found her windshield smashed after eating lunch in her apartment that afternoon. She said an office manager told her that Bray and Grandinetti had been served with an eviction notice just before she had returned to the complex for lunch. No charges will filed in that incident, according to DeBusk, because there were no witnesses. DeBusk did say that he notified head coach Derek Dooley that Bray was a suspect in two incidents.
Vandalizing a car (or two) might seem minor compared to the crimes we have seen committed by NFL players recently in the news. However, the incident still paints a picture of Bray as an immature kid instead of a player ready to lead a major college program. His offer to pay for the damages he and his roommate caused showed some propensity to learn from his mistakes and admit when he was wrong.
As long as Bray isn't giving any further mea culpa statements, NFL teams may be willing to forgive this one, but they won't forget it.