ATHENS - Jonathan Taylor began Tuesday a Georgia football player with a still-bright future, fresh off a show of faith from his coach that a spring transgression could be looked past.
The second chance may have been for naught. Taylor spent Tuesday in a jail cell, his future with the program in serious doubt, and facing serious non-football consequences as well.
Taylor, a Georgia sophomore defensive lineman, was arrested early Tuesday morning on a felony charge of aggravated assault and domestic battery. The arrest stemmed from an incident between Taylor and his girlfriend at a dorm hall, with police saying they found "visible marks" on the girlfriend's neck.
This is the second arrest this year for Taylor, who was one of the four players charged in the check-cashing story back in March. Taylor accepted pre-trial intervention in that case, as did the other three charged players. Taylor was only facing "internal discipline" and no suspension for that case.
Head coach Mark Richt did not make a statement on Tuesday, likely because he was not able to meet with his jailed player. Taylor remained in jail overnight, and was still awaiting a bond hearing as of Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.
Just before 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning, UGA police responded to a call about a possible domestic incident at a dorm hall. The call was made by a "third party" who reported that her friend had been injured by her boyfriend, according to UGA police chief Jimmy Williamson.
Police met with the victim at Busbee Hall, along with the friend who had called police.
"Based on the information obtained from the victim it was determined that an incident had occurred at the hall," Williamson said.
Police went to Taylor's residence at McWhorter Hall, and after further interviews they determined there was "significant probable cause" to charge Taylor, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds.
"There were visible markings on her neck," Williamson said. "Based on those markings and statements from the victim, we determined there was probably cause to charge with the aggravated assault/domestic violence."
The girlfriend, whose name was withheld, did not require immediate hospitalization.
Taylor was taken to jail "without incident," according to Williamson, and booked at 6:08 a.m.
Taylor played in 10 games last year, recording one sack and nine tackles. He redshirted in 2012 after signing as a four-star recruit out of Jenkins County High School.
This season Taylor was expected to compete for more playing time, at both defensive end and tackle, and was one of the few players that the new defensive staff had singled out for praise.
This is the sixth known arrest of a Georgia football player this offseason, although four of them happened at once: The check-cashing arrests of Taylor, defensive end James DeLoach, safety Tray Matthews and receiver Uriah LeMay.
LeMay (transfer) and Matthews (dismissal) have since left the team. So did cornerback Shaq Wiggins (transfer), who had a very minor arrest for driving for a suspended license in January. Wiggins was not facing discipline for the arrest and chose to transfer for personal reasons.