LSU's Jordan Jefferson eyes starting job

October, 4, 2011
10/04/11
9:40
AM ET
LSU's Jordan Jefferson is back, and he would like to have his starting job back.

It's a storyline that will certainly be worth watching as the No. 1 Tigers go through the rest of this season.

Jefferson was quick to point out that he and Jarrett Lee have a good relationship, and Jefferson praised Lee for the job he has done in leading the Tigers to a 5-0 record.

[+] EnlargeJordan Jefferson
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireJordan Jefferson saw his first action of the season last Saturday against Kentucky.
Still, Jefferson said it was a "personal goal" of his to reclaim the starting job.

"I am going to do whatever it takes to get there," Jefferson said, adding that the main thing is what's important for the team.

It's clear that LSU coach Les Miles is extremely loyal to Jefferson, who was sent into the game to score the Tigers' first touchdown in their 35-7 win over Kentucky last Saturday. Miles said it was an easy decision to play Jefferson so early.

The harder decision for Miles will come on down the road if LSU isn't moving the ball as well on offense and struggling to score points. How quick will Miles' trigger be with Lee? Moreover, if Miles does have a quick trigger, what effect will that have on Lee?

Having not played or practiced with the team for more than a month, Jefferson is almost certainly rusty. He has never been a real precise passer anyway, so it may take him a while to get his timing back.

That said, Jefferson has strong support among his teammates, who are genuinely happy that he's back. And the truth is that he's probably been punished enough (four games), when you consider that his charge was dropped to a misdemeanor by a grand jury. Most college football players who are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor get a game or two suspension, and in some locales, they don't have to sit at all.

Either way, it's been a delicate situation from the outset, one that has divided the Baton Rouge community in a lot ways. It's also a situation that could get even more delicate within the team, depending on how Miles handles things.

Already, Miles has lashed out at the fans who booed Jefferson when he went into the game last Saturday. The boos were loud enough that Jefferson and several of his teammates acknowledged hearing them.

Jefferson very wisely wrote it off as fans being emotional, but Miles wasn't as quick to let the fans off that easily.

"Jordan Jefferson didn't have a choice. I sent him in the game, OK," Miles said. "When he went into the game, he'd already served a four-game suspension. He'd been through quite a lot, and it appears to me that this thing is going to be a misdemeanor, not unlike a lot of the people in the stands who possibly had similar run-ins with the law, OK. Well, I suspect that they didn't get penalized nearly as significantly as this guy.

"You'd like to think maybe that when he went onto the field that he was kind of easing some of those days where he wondered if he'd ever be back, and so I wanted to get him on the field as fast as I could because, you see, I like Jordan Jefferson, and I think a mistake was made. And it's not one that he'll repeat."

Chris Low | email

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