UTSA star wide receiver’s blood-alcohol level was .183 after rollover crash, records show

Joshua Cephus, 22, serving 15 months probation after Nov. plea deal

SAN ANTONIO – A star wide receiver for the University of Texas at San Antonio football team had a blood-alcohol level more than two times the legal limit to drive after rolling a vehicle last December, court records obtained by KSAT Investigates show.

Joshua Cephus, 22, had a BAC of .183, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety blood analysis included in his criminal case.

Cephus, a record-breaking senior wideout from Spring, Texas, pleaded no contest in the DWI case last month.

The records were not publicly available until after the plea agreement was made. KSAT then filed a public records request for records related to the investigation.

As part of the plea deal, he agreed to serve 15 months probation and pay $870 in fines and court costs. Cephus avoided jail time as part of the plea agreement.

The UTSA football program suspended Cephus from the team following the December 2022 wreck in the 7200 block of UTSA Boulevard and he missed the team’s bowl game last season, before eventually returning to the program in January.

Cephus was then arrested in July for DWI with a blood alcohol level over .15 stemming from the incident.

San Antonio Police Department investigators said during the crash Cephus was turning left and had a green light, but he lost control of the vehicle and rolled it over.

I haven’t done anything wrong

SAPD body-worn camera footage was released to KSAT by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office after Cephus signed the plea agreement.

The footage shows Cephus repeatedly declining to take part in standard field sobriety tests before being taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Cephus, who told officers he was “okay” and “I feel I may be good” after the rollover crash, had blood on his hands and the shirt he was wearing.

Emmanuel Odetola, a former wide receiver for the UTSA football program, identifies himself as Cephus’ passenger in the footage and does not appear to be injured.

Odetola no longer appears on the UTSA football roster.

Cephus told officers at the scene he was coming from Privat Social Club and had consumed shots of alcohol.

Cephus told officers he drank Ciroc vodka or Don Julio tequila while asking officers why it mattered.

After an officer asked him what time he thought it was, Cephus responded, “What time could you say it is right now? Like, why do y’all do that?”

Cephus then asks another person at the crash scene what time it is and is informed it is 3:44 a.m., the footage shows.

Cephus then says he’s a 5 on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being sober and 10 being drunk.

“Do you feel intoxicated right now?” an officer asks Cephus.

“Umm, yeah. I guess you could say,” Cephus replies.

Cephus then tells the officer he does not believe alcohol played a role in the crash.

“I definitely feel like I’m less than a .08,” says Cephus, before an officer places him in handcuffs.

The officer tells Cephus he will have a chance to prove he is not intoxicated at the jail, since SAPD did not have a portable breath test device at the crash scene.

“I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong,” says Cephus, as he is placed in the back of a patrol vehicle.

After arriving at the Central Magistrate’s Office to be booked, Cephus begins arguing with the arresting officer, the footage shows.

“What’s with the attitude? I don’t get where you changed. You’ve been respectful this whole time, I’ve been respectful to you,” the officer says.

“Because it’s like it’s no way. Like, I gotta come all the way over here,” says Cephus.

The officer and Cephus then argue about Cephus not being able to take off his shoe and a slipper he was wearing while handcuffed.

Cephus was charged 7 months after incident

SAPD officials previously stated that Cephus was later taken to a hospital for his injuries instead of being booked into jail. He was criminally charged for the crash seven months later.

UTSA wide receiver Joshua Cephus was charged with DWI BAC over .15. (Copyright 2023 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Cephus, who now holds the UTSA football record for career receptions and receiving yards, addressed his criminal case after the Roadrunners’ 49-21 victory over the University of South Florida last month.

“It definitely could have been worse, but the God I serve has blessed me enough that it wasn’t enough to take me away from football. At first it was pretty hard. Missing a bowl game was definitely one of the darkest times in my life,” said Cephus, before reiterating it could have been worse.

Cephus mentioned ex-Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs, who was sentenced in August to serve at least three years in prison for killing a woman and her dog in a drunk driving crash in 2021.

UTSA plays Marshall University in the Frisco Bowl Dec. 19.

A spokesman for UTSA’s football program said the university considers the matter closed.

About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

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