Five-star running back Soso Jamabo arrested for fleeing police

Mugshot of Soso Jamabo, UCLA's five-star signee, who was arrested early Sunday morning for evading police in a vehicle. (Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office)

Mugshot of Soso Jamabo, UCLA’s five-star signee, who was arrested early Sunday morning for evading police in a vehicle. (Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office)

Five-star running back Soso Jamabo, who signed with UCLA in February, was arrested early Sunday morning for fleeing police in a vehicle.

Jamabo posted a $7,500 surety bond on Sunday afternoon, and was released from Kaufman County Jail. Online records had showed that Sotonye Josiah Jamabo was booked at 1:28 a.m. CT on multiple charges, including minor possession of alcohol and speeding, but he is now only facing one charge — evading arrest with a vehicle, a state jail felony under the Texas penal code.

“We are aware of the reports out of Dallas regarding Sotonye Jamabo,” a UCLA spokesperson said in a statement. “We are obviously concerned about these reports and are currently gathering more information. As this is a continuing process, we will withhold further comment until the appropriate time.”

The Plano West star was arrested by Kemp police, approximately an hour southeast of the high school. A since-deleted picture uploaded onto Twitter showed that Jamabo, 18, may have been attending prom.

Kemp chief of police Robert Walker said in an emailed statement that Jamabo was driving a Ford pick-up truck that exited Highway 175-East at approximately 7:20 p.m. Saturday night at a “high rate of speed.” When a Kemp police officer attempted to initiate a stop, the vehicle continued driving, disregarding a stop sign and turning on Highway 274.

The vehicle then continued southbound, according to the statement, swerving and “having total disregard of public safety.” Occupants in the vehicle also began throwing objects out of the window. Once the truck stopped, however, the occupants exited as vehicle as instructed. Jamabo was arrested for evading arrest, while the others — a 19-year-old male, an 18-year-old female, and a juvenile — were given citations and released.

The Dallas Morning News first reported Jamabo’s arrest. He was ranked the top recruit in the state of Texas by, as well as the fourth-best running back in the country and a top-25 recruit at any position.

His commitment to UCLA on ESPNU was part of a huge National Signing Day haul for UCLA, one that was considered a consensus top-10 recruiting class.

“Just a tremendous talent,” head coach Jim Mora said on Feb. 4. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s physical. He can run between the tackles, he can get the edge, he can take it home. One of the things we like about him is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s also a very good blocker.”

Updated at 3:32 pm. PT.

  • Tommy B Low Us

    If I was coach mora I’d make him do community service upon arrival at campus. He can and should do lectures on the dangers of drinking and driving to high school kids. I’d also make him own up to his mistakes and apologize to the city he resides.

    • drakejr

      He wasn’t drinking and driving. Texas DUI laws would have nailed him with a DUI if he had anything in his system. From what people are saying, he was drinking much earlier. Drove with a bottle in his car, and probably tried to get around a mandatory police DUI inspection stop point. Not nearly as dramatic and bad as some people are making out. Just very, very stupid. Dude, wait until college to do your underage drinking, it’s much easier and safer.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        Yeah who knows. Maybe it is not as bad as it seems. It is still an opportunity to right his wrongs if need be.

      • xtracool32

        If he evaded police, while in a vehicle than this is very bad. As far as minor consumption of alcohol, I’m not worried about that. It’s a shame so many talented athletes do stupid things, and completely ruin their future.

        • Santiago Matamoros

          “he is now only facing one charge — evading arrest with a vehicle, a state jail felony under the Texas penal code.”

    • Oz

      Mora doesn’t have the authority to make him do community service. Mora is a just college football coach, not a judge on the bench of a courtroom. Why would you expect Mora to take on the role of the legal system?

      • Tommy B Low Us

        Mora has a say as to whether or not he will play and or be accepted on the team. Mora can suggest he take responsibility for he actions and guide him in ways that would help him learn his lesson.

        • Oz

          We are talking completely different things. Soso has been arrested and could be facing a felony charge. He’s facing a Texas legal system with the mandate that can force him to take responsibility for his actions with serious consequences. Soso will be praying that the charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor. And you’re talking about Mora making suggestions and whether or not Soso gets playing time. Two completely different levels

          • Tommy B Low Us

            Yes we are talking about two different things. My argument stems from the idea of supporting the kid and not kicking him off the team. That is if he is able to get past the Texas legal issues. Once he is on the team, Mora should not just sweep this under the rug or slap him on the wrist. He should try to help the kid by making him present to high school kids on the dangers of drinking and driving, evading police, and or whatever else. That was my argument the whole time.

          • cmwilliamsd

            Tommy would lethal injection be a suitable punishment for you?

          • Tommy B Low Us

            Would it be for you?

          • cmwilliamsd

            Sorry Tommy. My comment was meant for Mr. Negative Laker

          • 8 Krap

            Soso also turned his back on all of the home state teams, including the Texas Longhorns….. I hope THAT doesn’t factor into the decision making process of the Texas legal system….

  • Sam C

    Great. Along with that devry comment during signing period, this kid sounds immature at best and stupid at worse.

    • maze949

      The Devry and ITT Tech comment was innocuous, clever and said in jest (even THEY found the humor in it, and tweeted as much when he committed to UCLA). You do realize they don’t have FB programs, right? This TX incident is another matter, and I’ll withhold judgment until I find out more.

    • UCLA owns LA Football

      You got to admit Samy, at least Soso didn’t invent a hero yarn to cover his tracks – you know like the Klown U Senior FB Captain Josh Shaw. I hope Josh’s nephew has fully recovered.

  • xtracool32

    Troy Aikman, being the proud bruin he is, should go have a talk with this kid, and tell him he is about to screw up his whole future. I am sure he would listen to Troy since he is from Dallas.

  • jameskatt

    It is better to drop him now than harm the team morale with a bad seed of he turns out so. Mora has dropped players before.

  • Ethan

    Hope Coach Mora and UCLA support this kid. He made a mistake which he will learn from. He’s an smart kid who made a mistake. He knew what was at stake got scared and evaded police. All these people posting nonsense about team morale don’t know anyone who plays for UCLA. People quick to pass judgment and don’t even know the kid. His TV announcement just shows he has a sense of humor. He made a mistake, Coach Mora will consider the facts and hopefully take into account he’s just a kid.

    • Sean

      This is the best comment I’ve seen regarding SoSo arrest. I completely agree with you and appreciate your comment

    • Tommy B Low Us

      This is also a chance for coach mora and the university to use this as an educational example. They should not just slap soso on the wrist like other institutions. He should be required to do community outreach. That is the best way to right his wrongs, and maybe prevent other high school students from doing the same behavior. Leading by example and admitting his wrong doings is the best thing to do here. Others can learn from his mistake.

      • Laker Rod

        Tell us all how Soso will play as a true freshman. LOL!!!!

        • Tommy B Low Us

          You are an idiot. Oh please tell us he should red shirt. That is all you got.

  • disqus_oisEN2ZrAH

    He will get the Joe Mixon treatment!

  • VB

    Am I the only one around here who doesn’t think this is that big of a deal? I mean, he was going to redshirt one year anyway. By 2016, no one is even going to remember this incident.

    • 8 Krap

      Let’s hope that he doesn’t walk off with some crab legs from Santa Monica Seafood! 😉

      • ProbationU

        That would require armed robbery in that joint…although prices are so high, they might be guilty of robbery when one shops there.

    • MPPBruin

      I’d probably agree had it not been for the fleeing police bit. A little underage drinking would have been one thing.

    • cmwilliamsd

      Who among us has not done stupid crap as a kid? Clean up your act kid and move on with your life. Sincerely, Lawrence Phillips

      • Santiago Matamoros

        Fleeing the police is far beyond “stupid.”

  • Tommy B Low Us

    Sorry nice try though. You should take a red shirt from this blog and come back when you have an argument.

    • Laker Rod

      You need to be banned until you know your stuff. Thinking Ellis McCarthy redshirted. LOL!! Sad Bruin fans like you exist.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        You need to be banned for being a little punk b. Can I get a cry on?

      • Tommy B Low Us

        The only one here that is clueless is you. Go back to your trollgan blog and cry on.

      • Tommy B Low Us

        By the way the lakers stink too. But not as bad as your lame theories.