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Current, former GSU football players arrested on drug charges

Current, former GSU football players arrested on drug charges

Current, former GSU football players arrested on drug charges

Octavius Tirrel “Tay” Hicklin

Crime investigators arrested one former Georgia Southern University football player and a current player Wednesday on drug charges.

Irving Bryan Huggins, 20, of Lanier Drive, was charged with two counts of sale of marijuana and one count each of marijuana possession with intent to distribute, possession of a Schedule IV drug, unlawful use of communications facilities, and possession/use of a drug related object, according to a news release from the Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team.

Huggins was a running back last year on the Eagles football team but had since been removed.

Octavius Tirrel "Tay" Hicklin, 20, of the same Lanier Drive address at Cambridge at Southern The Pines Apartments, was charged with possession of marijuana (less than 1 ounce).

On Wednesday morning, "investigators with the Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team served a search warrant at an apartment ... regarding drug sales from that location," the news release says. "Investigators located quantities of different drugs at that location and took two of the tenants into custody. Both were transported to the Bulloch County Jail for processing."

Last season, Huggins rushed for 224 yards and scored four touchdowns, including three against Elon in the Eagles' final Southern Conference game.

Hicklin has been suspended indefinitely from the football team for a violation of team rules and Athletic Department policy, Athletic Director Tom Kleinlein said in a statement released Wednesday evening.

"Hicklin will remain suspended from the team until the legal process is finished and at that point Head Coach Willie Fritz and I will decide if he will remain on the team," Kleinlein said.

The arrests follow other recent arrests of GSU football players, which Kleinlein also addressed.

"I am also aware that there have been a number of incidents concerning our football team of late," he said. "Coach Fritz remains committed to our team being good citizens in the community and has stressed to his assistant coaches that we need to make sure we are recruiting high quality student-athletes."

On April 15, Georgia Southern sophomore defensive end Deonte Dempsey, 22, was arrested after biting a police officer during a drug bust and was subdued by a Taser, according to the Crime Suppression Team.

Officers seized a pound of high-grade marijuana from Dempsey's Lanier Drive home, officers said. He was suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules and GSU's athletic department policy, said Barrett Gilham, the director of Georgia Southern Athletics Media Relations.

Dempsey was charged with felony obstruction of an officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Also arrested during the drug raid were former GSU Eagle football players Joshua Rowe, 23, and Javon Mention, 23, who both lived in the same apartment as Dempsey. Mention was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a drug-related object. Rowe was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

In February, former Georgia Southern fullback Dominique Swope was released from the Bulloch County Jail on a $25,000 bond after his arrest for involvement in a Feb. 9 altercation at the Cambridge at Southern apartment complex on Lanier Drive.

Swope was charged with aggravated battery after the fight with another former GSU football player, Cameron Zaquan Lewis, 19, who suffered "serious head trauma," according to reports.

Swope was removed from the team after the arrest.

Herald Sports Editor Matt Yogus contributed to this report.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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