Penn State football player charged with marijuana possession after February stop on campus

Centre Daily Times (TNS)
Marquis Wilson

A Penn State football player was accused Wednesday of stashing a small amount of marijuana in a pill bottle, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by university police.

Sophomore cornerback Marquis Wilson was stopped in February by an officer who smelled “a strong odor of marijuana” coming from Wilson’s vehicle, police wrote.

Wilson, who spoke with the officer in front of Brill Hall, denied smoking marijuana. He said someone else smoked weed in his vehicle earlier, police wrote.

Wilson had red, glassy eyes and “a strong odor of marijuana on his breath,” police wrote. The officer found the bottle inside the vehicle’s center console.

The Penn State athletic department issued the following statement on Friday:

“We are aware of the charges against Marquis Wilson. His status with the program has not changed. However, these alleged actions do not reflect the values and standards of our program and the matter was referred to the University’s student conduct process. We will not comment any further as this is an ongoing legal matter.”

Wilson could ultimately face campus discipline apart from the criminal case.

Wilson, 20, was charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 26.

State College Borough Council in 2016 approved an ordinance that gives borough police officers the option to charge individuals with a summary offense instead of a misdemeanor for possession of a small amount of marijuana.

But that ordinance can’t be applied on campus. University police are required to follow state and federal laws that consider marijuana use and possession a misdemeanor.

Wilson, a Connecticut native, is one of three Nittany Lions expected to be in the mix for a starting spot in the secondary.

Redshirt junior Donovan Johnson has the edge to start as the team’s No. 2 cornerback, position coach Terry Smith said in April.

Wilson and Johnson are also competing with former State College Area High School standout Keaton Ellis for the starting job.