'Cocaine' on car of Georgia Southern QB was bird poop; charges dropped

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Police released body cam video of Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts' arrest Friday, as he rejoined the huddle for the Eagles.

Georgia Southern University quarterback Shai Werts was arrested during a traffic stop, when a field test on bird poop from his car tested positive for cocaine. (Source: Saluda County, S.C. Sheriff’s Office/WTOC/Gray News)

The Saluda County, S.C. Sheriff’s Office also released the the dash cam and in-car footage of the July 31 arrest on Thursday. The university announced that Werts’ suspension for misdemeanor cocaine charges is over, and he is back in full standing with the program.

Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein said Werts called him to tell him the charges were dropped.

"We both kind of shared a moment of relief, and then I shared with him that here’s an opportunity to go out and take advantage of this situation and grow as a human being," Kleinlein said. “What he was accused of was very hard for me to believe, because I’ve watched this young man work for three years.”

Kleinlein called the newly released videos ‘eye opening,’ but he says he came away proud of the quarterback's demeanor in tough circumstances.

“What struck me most from the video was how he handled himself when he kind of knew that this was not right, that this was not the right information," the AD said. "He was a professional and as courteous as he could be in that process.”

It’s been a strange ordeal for the red shirt junior and the entire Georgia Southern football program. Kleinlein says he’s glad everything around Werts can now get back to football.

“Shai’s a leader," he said. "You know, Shai understands what he has to do to lead this football program; be a leader in our athletic department, and be a leader for our university. I think he’s going to come through this a better person. Unfortunately, he went through some challenging times, but I think he’s going to come through this in a better way."

Eagles fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Everybody was kind of confused up front; didn’t really know what was going on and all that. Kind of weird to have something on the hood of a car, so it was kind of strange from the beginning,” one fan said.

No one from the football program was made available to the media, but Werts is expected to speak Saturday after the Eagles’ first scrimmage of the fall.

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