By Josh Kerns/MyNorthwest.com
University of Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has changed his plea to guilty for a March, 2013 DUI in a pre-trial hearing Monday in Seattle.
Seferian-Jenkins was sentenced to 364 days in jail with 363 suspended.
Seferian-Jenkins crashed his car in the University District March 9 in a one-vehicle collision after swerving off the road. He later refused to submit to a blood test. When he was finally tested, Seferian-Jenkins registered a blood-alcohol level of .18 percent – over twice the legal limit.
Seferian-Jenkins released a statement on the matter through his lawyer, Bill Kirk:
“On March 9, 2013, I fell well short of what is expected of me as a student athlete and a citizen of this community. I want everyone to know how sorry I am for the disappointment and embarrassment that I have caused. I especially want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and particularly my family. I also want to apologize to the entire University of Washington family for not living up to my expectations. I hope that everyone can learn from my mistake so that they do not commit the same lapse in judgment that I committed this past March.
“I was always raised to be a man of my word, and I promised everyone shortly after this incident that I would accept responsibility for my actions. Today, I kept my word and will accept my punishment because I deserve it. I also want everyone to know that I will continue to learn from this mistake and will attempt to educate others to the dangers of drinking and driving. I understand that I am very fortunate that no one else was injured by my terrible lapse in judgment. To all my supporters, thank you for standing by me, but please learn from my mistake and never, ever drink and drive. I plan to move on from this, and continue to work hard to earn your respect back. Again, I am deeply sorry for my actions and I hope that at some point, you can all forgive me.”
UW head coach Steve Sarkisian suspended Seferian-Jenkins from spring practice. He has been working out with teammates during independent summer sessions.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound sophomore from Gig Harbor High School is considered one of the top tight ends in the country. He caught 69 passes for 852 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
He holds the school tight end records for career receptions (110), receiving yards in a season and a career (1,388), touchdown receptions in a season and touchdown catches in a career (13).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.