Texas State quarterback Jayden de Laura has withdrawn from school and is no longer with the football program, the university announced Wednesday. The Arizona transfer joined the Bobcats a week ago, shortly before incumbent starting quarterback TJ Finley entered the transfer portal and landed at Western Kentucky.
On Jan. 22 — two days before he withdrew — de Laura settled a civil lawsuit that stemmed from a 2018 sexual assault case. According to the lawsuit, which was originally filed in December 2021, de Laura and a teammate at St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, pleaded guilty in juvenile court to second-degree sexual assault. The incident occurred in 2018 shortly after St. Louis won the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s football championship. Both the plaintiff and defendants were minors at the time of the assault. Neither de Laura nor his teammate served jail time.
The Texas State student body did not shy away from voicing concerns over de Laura’s presence on the roster following his commitment to the Bobcats. Some students even planned a protest for Friday, Jan. 26, against his inclusion on the team. The University Star, Texas State’s student newspaper, also published a column calling for de Laura to be cut from the roster.
de Laura finished his high school career at St. Louis and signed with Washington State in 2020 as a four-star prospect and the No. 6 player in the state of Hawaii. He transferred to Arizona in 2022 and started all 12 games for the Wildcats.
Arizona released a statement in May 2023 acknowledging that it was aware of de Laura’s legal issues, though his status remained unchanged.
“In the fall of 2022 after a civil complaint was filed against football student-athlete Jayden de Laura, the University of Arizona first became aware of a 2018 incident involving de Laura which occurred while he was in high school in Hawaii,” the statement read. “After reviewing the matter, the determination was made to allow de Laura to continue as a student-athlete and his status remains unchanged.”
de Laura started the first four games of the 2023 season but suffered an injury that caused him to miss extended time. In that period, redshirt freshman Noah Fifita stepped up, earning Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors after throwing for almost 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The quarterback change resulted in de Laura entering the transfer portal in December; he committed to Texas State less than a month later. Without him in the fold, Texas State is left without an established starting option at quarterback as Finley — who set the Texas State program record for passing yards in a single season with 3,439 — now pursues a future at Western Kentucky.