Darnell Salomon, one of the nation’s top college football prospects, had his day in court in Athens.
The 5-star recruit from Miami pled guilty last Friday to charges stemming from a July 2014 incident at UGA’s “Dawg Night” prospect camp. After the camp, he was accused of entering the unlocked UGA dorm room of two female students and stealing an iPhone and a wallet containing cash and credit cards.
Salomon, who is rated as the country’s No. 4 receiver for 2016, pled guilty to a charge of burglary in the first degree this past Friday.
As a first-time offender, Salomon was sentenced to perform 320 hours of community service, to pay restitution of $400 to replace an iPhone and its case, to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and given five years of probation.
Salomon was also barred from the Athens area, including the UGA campus, except for court purposes.
“He’s also supposed to write a letter of apology to Mark Richt,” Clarke County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Kwiatkowski told the AJC on Monday.
Kwiatkowski said another charge related to an invasion of privacy was dismissed.
The ruling means Salomon is prohibited from visiting Athens. He is only allowed to return to the area to complete his community service hours. The judge did allow an exception for football games. If Salomon played for another team that came to Sanford Stadium, he would be allowed to do that.
Salomon’s attorney Freddrell Green was not able to confirm or deny if UGA was still recruiting his client. He did advise that he felt the ruling did not limit his client from accepting a scholarship offer and playing for UGA — which contradicts other reports.
Salomon’s off-the-field issues have not appeared to have much of an impact on his celebrity recruiting status. Just this past week, Salomon was invited to participate in The Opening, which is all-star combine for elite prospects at Nike headquarters in July. He told Rivals earlier this month that Alabama was recruiting him the hardest, and his top six schools were the Crimson Tide, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.
“I do also believe that this is an isolated incident,” Green said. “This is not indicative of the character of this young man and his reputation for community service. His record for academic achievement and athletic achievement is exemplary in his community. I feel very confident he is going to learn from this experience and will be a better man as a result of it.”
The charges stemming from that incident caused UGA to drop him from their recruiting board. Salomon discussed the matter with UGASports.com’s Trent Smallwood earlier this month, when he claimed he had already written a letter of apology to Richt.
The Athens-Banner Herald reported in October of 2014 that the search warrant released by the Clarke County Clerk’s Office accused him of felony burglary. It also stated Salomon turned himself in on July 25 on a charge of first-degree felony burglary. The stolen phone’s owner was also a UGA athlete and she advised police of new downloaded photos to her iCloud account which she did not recognize.
According to the warrant, the investigation led them to Salamon’s Florida address through the use of the Find My iPhone application. An athletic department spokesman told the Banner-Herald in that report his recruitment by UGA came to an end when the alleged incident initially occurred.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.