4-Star Auburn Recruit Kalvaraz Bessent Cleared of Felony Drug Charges

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

Credit: 247Sports

Updates from Friday, Feb. 14

Alex Byington of the Opelika-Auburn News reports that Bessent has been cleared of all charges:

BREAKING: Auburn CB signee Kalvaraz Bessent has been cleared of all charges from his arrest last week.

— Alex Byington (@AUBlog) February 14, 2014

Alabama Media Group's Brandon Marcello added more from Bessent's father:

Kalvaraz Bessent's father, via Facebook, says "all charges" have been dropped and "my son has been exonerated."

— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 14, 2014

Updates from Tuesday, Feb. 11

Brandon Marcello of AL.com has the latest on Kalvaraz Bessent:

Police are testing a firearm found inside the vehicle in which Auburn signee Kalvaraz Bessent and three others were inside during their arrest on two felony drug charges late Friday night.

A handgun was found underneath the front passenger seat in which Bessent was seated when police stopped a 2007 Dodge Charger for speeding late Friday night in Nassau County (Fla.). Police are not sure whose gun it is, but they are testing it for DNA and fingerprint.

Tests are expected to be completed in "more than likely several weeks," Nassau County sheriff Bill Leeper said. Charges related to the gun have not yet been filed.

Original Text

Kalvaraz Bessent was arrested early Saturday in Florida on marijuana-related charges, according to Brandon Marcello of AL.com:

The cornerback out of St. Mary's, Ga., was arrested on two felony charges stemming from possession of marijuana over 20 grams and possession with intent, according to the county jail. He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

Bessent was released on $5,506 bond.

The 4-star cornerback is the the 11th-best at his position in the country, according to 247Sports, and the 122nd-best prospect overall. He committed to the Tigers on national signing day, per Auburn football's Twitter feed, helping to form what was the No. 6 class in 247Sports' team rankings:

Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn said that he is "aware of the situation and is continuing to gather information," per James Crepea of The Montgomery Advertiser:

Only time will tell as to whether or not Bessent's commitment to the school will be adversely affected by this news.

It wouldn't be hard for Auburn to back away now if it's sufficiently spooked, even with national signing day having come and gone. Although no NCAA sanctions ever came about as a result, the Cam Newton scandal is still fresh in the minds of many fans, so the Tigers may want to slowly back away from this situation so as to avoid any sort of controversy down the line.

The converse is that Bessent hasn't actually been convicted of anything. It's one thing to be charged with a crime. It's completely different to be found guilty of said crime. Until all of the facts of the case come to light, it would be a bit unfair to jump to any major conclusions.

Either way, this isn't how Bessent will have wanted to get his collegiate career underway.


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