Grew up poor in an unstable environment. Parents divorced when he was 9. Mother was on disability and unable to provide adequate structure, discipline and guidance, oftentimes relying on coaches to keep Colt in line, according to a September 2012 article in the Oregonian. Father moved to Hawaii during Colt's high school years and missed all his games from his sophomore year on. Consequently, Colt skipped stretches of class and was absent for meetings and practices, incurring suspension. Native Oregonian who won a state title and garnered all-state recognition as both a running back and linebacker. Ended a tumultuous recruiting process by committing to Oregon and then-head coach Chip Kelly. As a true freshman in 2011, had seven receptions for 147 yards (21-yard average) and five touchdowns in 12 games. Missed the first week of 2012 fall camp (undisclosed). On the season, started 9 of 13 games and contributed 25 catches for 392 yards and six TDs. In March 2013, tweeted a link to a video claiming the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy was a conspiracy, along with the comment: "The parents of the kids that supposedly died in the Sandy Hook situation are liars." Started three of the Ducks' first four games in the fall and had two catches for 12 yards and no TDs. Did not play against Tennessee because of the stomach flu, according to Lyerla, although head coach Mark Helfrich cited "circumstances." Was suspended against Colorado for violating team rules, then left the team Oct. 6 for personal reasons. Had his driver's license suspended Oct. 11 after getting four driving tickets in two years, then was arrested Oct. 23 for cocaine possession (pleaded guilty) after undercover officers reportedly spotted him using the drug in a car in a Eugene, Ore., parking lot. Did not perform three-cone drill at combine because of groin injury.
Good athlete. Fluid route runner. Very good body control. Adjusts easily to the ball. Can create in the open field with very good run skills. Natural hands. Good catching radius. Functional blocker with enough playing strength to sustain. Highly competitive and determined to prove critics wrong. Is smart and hardworking. Recorded a 39-inch vertical jump to pace all tight ends at the combine.
Lacks ideal bulk strength to block in-line. Overly emotional and prone to outbursts following a dysfunctional childhood that offered little direction and much confusion related to a divorce. Not a disciplined team player. Off-the-field issues linger. Drops were too consistent (see West Virginia). Bench pressed 225 pounds only 15 times at combine.
An extremely athletic receiving tight end, Lyerla was overshadowed by the play of emerging freshman Johnny Mundt and a litany of issues (suspensions, drugs, academics). Has overcome a lot of adversity stemming back to his youth and defied the odds to become an impactful performer. Possesses elite physical talent, but his history could easily knock him down several rounds and off many NFL draft boards. Would benefit tremendously from a coach willing to serve as a strong father figure and an established, veteran locker room with a positional leader able to take him under his wing the way Kyle Long did at Oregon.