Michigan starting defensive lineman Mazi Smith entered a guilty plea on Thursday to a misdemeanor weapon charge, avoiding prosecution on a more serious felony count.
The Detroit Free Press and MLive Media said the felony weapon charge was dismissed. By taking the plea deal, Smith won’t have a criminal record, provided he successfully completes all conditions of the deal, per the reports.
Sentencing was set for Dec. 29 — two days before No. 2 Michigan meets No. 3 TCU in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
Appearing via video feed before 14A District Judge J. Cedric Simpson, Smith admitted to having a Glock 19 gun in his possession during a traffic stop on Oct. 7 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The gun was registered to Smith, but he didn’t yet have a concealed pistol license.
The concealed weapon charge was not filed until Dec. 1, and Smith was not barred from team activities. The senior played in the Big Ten Championship game last Saturday when Michigan beat Purdue and made two tackles.
“We are aware of the charge against Mazi from a traffic stop back in October,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement when the charge was filed last week. “Mazi was honest, forthcoming and cooperative from the very beginning and is a tremendous young man. He is not and never has been considered a threat to the University or community.”
A first-team All-Big Ten selection this year, Smith has 45 tackles in 13 games for the undefeated Wolverines.
–Field Level Media