Character Concerns? Coaches Have None
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Character Concerns? Coaches Have None

Micah Hyde, Charles Johnson and Sam Barrington got into trouble during their NCAA careers but their collegiate position coaches vouch for them on and off the field.

The Green Bay Packers drafted three players who had off-the-field issues at their schools. Assistant coaches at those schools, however, vouch for their character.

Fifth-round pick Micah Hyde, a cornerback-safety prospect from Iowa, showed up on the list of players with character concerns distributed to teams and provided to Packer Report. In the early morning of Oct. 6, he was arrested for public intoxication and interference with official acts when he (and others) wouldn't leave the Old Capitol Brew Works around closing time. When police arrived, Hyde fled the scene but was apprehended two blocks later.

"I made a stupid mistake," Hyde said upon being drafted. "(Teams) all questioned me about it. They wanted know every single detail. I let them know. It's still ongoing. My court date is still coming up. I'm confident I can battle through it. I just learned a life lesson with the whole thing, especially dealing with the media."

He added, "It's something that goes on in Iowa City a lot. There's not a huge crime rate or anything else so they get a lot of people and charge them with public intoxication. A lot of teams understand that. It's not an excuse but I just made a horrible decision that night."

Iowa defensive coordinator and secondary coach Phil Parker downplayed the incident and said it was Hyde's only issue during his four years at school.

"When I recruited him, he had his mom and he had his sisters that were young, and his brother played at Michigan State," Parker said. "They are a great family. For me, just the way he carried himself as a person and how he competed is what stands out. He was a very good leader for us here. Just a good kid. I enjoyed coaching him."

The Packers' first seventh-round pick, Charles Johnson, a receiver from Grand Valley State, saw his career at Eastern Kentucky go down the drain when a stolen laptop showed up in his room. As Packer Report detailed after Johnson's pre-draft visit, when neither Johnson nor his roommate would implicate the other, officials decided to kick them both out of school. The football program intervened and the school changed the punishment to a suspension, but that would have kept him off the football field for one season and without enough credits to participate the following season.

So, Johnson went to a junior college in California, then missed a season while heading back home to Kentucky to be with his ailing father. With his father's health having improved, Johnson got the itch to play football again. The NCAA told Johnson he'd have one season of eligibility at Division I but two seasons at Division II. Johnson did a Google search for the best Division II football programs and chose powerhouse Grand Valley State.

"I told the scouts this: I did not chase him anywhere at anytime in three years at Grand Valley," Jack Ginn, Grand Valley's receivers coach, told Packer Report before the draft. "The kid got up and went to class. I never had to worry about him going to class. Do I think he enjoys going out with his friends? Sure he does. Did I ever worry that C.J.'s going to be out somewhere and he's going to get into a fight? Never. Did I ever worry about C.J. drinking and driving? Never. I don't know if the kid drinks but I do know he has a head on his shoulders. He was a zero-management guy here. I didn't spend one minute managing his life. I told the scouts: If I were leaving for a week and I needed a kid to house-sit, I would have no problem asking C.J."

The Packers' final seventh-round pick, Sam Barrington, a linebacker from South Florida, was pulled over numerous times and arrested four times for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

Mark Snyder, who coached Barrington for two seasons before taking over as Texas A&M's defensive coordinator in 2012, called Barrington "a great kid" and laughed when Barrington's driving record was brought up.

"That happens to a log of young people, c'mon," Snyder said. "I don't think that's a big deal. It's a kid being a kid. You're speeding, you hide it from your parents, you don't pay the fine and the next thing you know there's a warrant out for you because you don't pay your bill. It's hard on a college kid (without money)."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.