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Charles hopes "one-time mistake" isn't costly

3:22 PM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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Orson Charles

Tampa, Fla. -- Orson Charles has a new motto these days.

"I have a lot to prove and I'm willing to prove it," Charles said. "I just need a little chance."

Charles is one of the top-rated tight end prospects heading into tonight's NFL Draft.  He was once considered as a prime candidate for the top spot.

Then March happened.

Charles had a disappointing pro day at Georgia, where he set the school record for touchdown cathces for a tight end in one season.  His times in the 40-yard dash weren't close to the 4.5 he says he routinely runs.  Winds of 20-30 miles per hour didn't help.

The former All-American could have bounced back from that, but then he was arrested and charged with DUI four days after his pro day.

"One of the hardest things I had to face was confronting my mom," Charles said. "My whole family was disappointed in me."

He says it was a "one-time mistake" and that he has been open with any NFL team willing to listen that he has learned from that mistake.

He had individual workouts with the Bucs, Eagles and Jets.  Each team asked about the arrest.  His response has been the same.

"That's not the kind of guy I am," Charles said.

He trained with former NFL wide receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin in south Florida.  The workouts focused on route running and life lessons.

He hopes to show NFL teams that he's the complete package, both as a player and a person.

"(The arrest) was my first time," Charles said. "and my last time."

Travis Bell, 10 News

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