Ex-Bama star Kirkpatrick arrested on drug charge
by Michael Casagrande
mcasagrande@annistonstar.com
Jan 17, 2012 | 6754 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick (21) makes a play for Alabama in the 2012 BCS Championship Game against LSU, pulling down Tyrann Mathieu (7). (Photo by Trent Penny)
Defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick (21) makes a play for Alabama in the 2012 BCS Championship Game against LSU, pulling down Tyrann Mathieu (7). (Photo by Trent Penny)
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TUSCALOOSA — A week earlier, Dre Kirkpatrick hoisted a crystal football in New Orleans.

His early-morning hours of this Tuesday involved handcuffs in Central Florida.

The now-former Crimson Tide cornerback was arrested just after midnight on marijuana possessions charges in Bradenton, Fla. Kirkpatrick was booked at 12:48 a.m., and released on $120 cash bond.

Another former Alabama defensive back was arrested and booked at the same time on the same charges. Chris Rogers, a senior on the 2009 national championship team when Kirkpatrick was a freshman, was also processed by the Manatee County Sherriff’s Office.

According to a police report obtained by the Associated Press, Kirkpatrick was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Rogers who was stopped for driving on the wrong side of the road. A drug dog detected narcotics and police found the marijuana on the floorboard near Kirkpatrick’s feet.

The report stated Rogers told police he bought the marijuana at a nearby house. Kirkpatrick told police he was present at the time of the purchase, but was unaware of what was being bought.

Messages sent to Rogers on Tuesday evening went unreturned.

Rogers, who helped execute the infamous Gatorade bath of coach Nick Saban at the end of the 2010 title game, works in the marketing division of Under Armour. According to his profile on professional social networking site LinkedIn, he was previously employed by IMG Performance Institute located in Bradenton.

The sports training center develops future NFL draft picks like Kirkpatrick. The junior from Gadsden City, along with running back Trent Richardson, announced his departure from Alabama and early entry to the draft process in a Thursday news conference.

“I’ll say it again, they’ve been great ambassadors and great representatives for the University of Alabama as people, as students and as football players,” Saban said last Thursday. “And I know they will continue to be the same kind of ambassadors for the university in everything they do in the future. I can’t tell you how much we love them and how much we appreciate all that they’ve done to help this organization be successful.”

Kirkpatrick is rated among the top 15-20 prospects for the April draft. The Football Writers Association of America named him second-team All-American after making 30 tackles, breaking up nine passes and forcing two fumbles.

The emotional leader of the Alabama defense, Kirkpatrick became a fan favorite for his confident on-field presence.

The past year was one of personal growth and maturity, Kirkpatrick said. Last Thursday, he said he’s slowed down “with the night scene.”

His close relationship with Saban played a role in that.

“You stay on your child, he’s eventually going to get right,” Kirkpatrick said last Thursday. “That’s something he did to me and I finally got right. I feel like I had a great time here.”

The Alabama football program hasn’t had many run-ins with the law as of late. Freshman Brent Calloway was arrested on marijuana possession charges in October as a passenger in a vehicle stopped on campus.

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