Jayden de Laura says he was found not guilty for driving under the influence and expressed sorrow and gratitude in a lengthy letter posted to his Twitter account Thursday — the Washington State quarterback’s first public comments since February.
In February, de Laura was placed under arrest by Pullman police for misdemeanor DUI charges after going the wrong way on Thatuna Street and driving through a stop sign in the College Hill area of the WSU campus. De Laura failed a sobriety rest and refused a Breathalyzer, Pullman police told The Spokesman-Review the day after the incident.
“I am very grateful for today’s verdict which found me not guilty of DUI,” de Laura wrote. “I want to thank all those who supported me throughout this very difficult time, from my teammates, coaches, attorneys and especially my family. While I do feel mildly vindicated by today’s verdict, I recognize that I made some poor choices on the night in question. I, and I alone am responsible for those choices.
“I also recognize that I have let a lot of people down here at WSU and also understand the tremendous trust and responsibility that has been placed upon me.”
De Laura stood on trial Thursday at Whitman County District Court, according to Big Country News. The quarterback, who started all four games during WSU’s shortened 2020 season, was suspended for the February incident, which forced him to miss the Cougars’ spring camp. De Laura was reinstated following camp and is set to join his teammates for preseason workouts, which are slated to begin Aug. 6 in Pullman, less than month before WSU opens the season at home against Utah State.
In his statement, de Laura said, “I will never take that for granted and I will work each and everyday moving forward to earn back the trust from the entire Cougar Nation so I can flourish here at Washington State University both academically and athletically.”
“I want to also thank the Pullman Police Department, the Pullman Prosecuting Attorney and the Judge. I was treated fairly throughout this entire process,” de Laura added. “The officer that night showed tremendous respect and professionalism and I will forever be grateful for how he treated me. I will not be making any further comments about this incident, all questions related to this case may be directed to my attorney. Now I just want to get back to being a student athlete here at WSU and work my hardest so that we have a successful 2021 season. Thank you to the entire Cougar nation for your support, I promise I will do better in the future.”
De Laura rejoins a three-man quarterback race that included Tennessee graduate transfer Jarrett Guarantano and returning junior Cammon Cooper, who played in two games last season while backing up WSU’s starter.
At Pac-12 media day, WSU running back Max Borghi said de Laura was receptive to the advice that was given to him by the team’s older players and captains.
“He’s obviously a very talented kid, and mistakes happen,” Borghi said. “Us older guys have preached that his role as a team is being a leader. He’s got to know better than that and do better than that.”
Added Borghi: “We’ve really seen him grow up a lot in the offseason, which is great. He’s had a great summer session of training. … He’s hungry for a competitive fall camp. We know what he’s capable of, he knows what he’s capable of.”
De Laura showed WSU fans a glimpse last season, completing 78 of 129 passes (60.5%) for 886 yards and five touchdowns and rushing for two touchdowns. The first true freshman to start a season opener at WSU, de Laura was named the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week after contributing three touchdowns to the Cougars’ win at Oregon State.
The Honolulu native was mistake-prone at times, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble in WSU’s loss at USC. After throwing four touchdowns and one interception in his first two starts, de Laura threw just one TD and had three picks in the final two games.