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Jefferson, Johns Cleared Of Felonies; Reinstated To LSU Team

A grand jury in Baton Rouge yesterday lessened the felony second-degree battery charge against LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson to one of misdemeanor simple battery.  The battery charge against back-up linebacker Josh Johns was dropped altogether.

The result?  By late last night both players had been reinstated to the Tiger football team.

First, good for Jefferson and Johns.  There have been conflicting accounts of what happened during that August bar fight and if the two young men are innocent — or at least not guilty of what they were initially charged with — good for them.

But.

As we wrote last week in anticipation of this scenario, this could be bad news for Jarrett Lee and the LSU team.

Miles has already said that Jefferson will return and will “absolutely” contribute to the team.  “I can’t imagine he’d be ready to play this Saturday (against Kentucky), but I wouldn’t rule it out,” Miles said.

So how much will Jefferson play?  Miles offered this:


“Right now Jarrett Lee is our starting quarterback.  What we would want to do is add a skill set.  There would be an opportunity just like a year ago when Lee played in (10 games).  There would be that opportunity for Jordan Jefferson…

I think there is an opportunity to increase our productivity on offense which would be for Jarrett Lee to continue doing what he has done and Jordan Jefferson to come into the game and do what he can do most significantly.”


That means bringing a run threat to the Tiger quarterback position, of course.  And that makes sense.  It’s also certainly fair for Jefferson (and Johns) to return as most players charged with a misdemeanor following a bar fight would not have missed four games to begin with.

But let’s look at Lee’s numbers during this career:


Year
Comp
Att
Yds
Comp %
Yds/Att
TDs
Ints
2008
143
269
1873
53.2
6.96
13
16
2009
16
40
197
40.0
4.93
2
1
2010
54
89
573
60.7
6.44
2
1
2011
56
87
624
64.4
7.17
6
1



Now it’s fully possible that Lee has simply improved over time due to natural maturation and playing experience.  It’s also possible that this offseason’s changes in the offensive coaching staff have benefited him.

But it’s also possible that Lee is a more confident player when he’s not splitting time with someone else.

The addition of Jefferson into the Tiger offense may added an arrow to the quiver and already powerful team.  Or it might cause Lee to start looking over his shoulder.  One way or the other, there’s now a question as to how this will affect LSU moving forward.

And as well as LSU had been moving in its first month, does anyone really want question thrown into the mix now?

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LSU’s Jefferson Wants His Shoes Back

Two weeks ago, Baton Rouge police searched the apartment of LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson.  They left with bag upon bag of evidence.  Soon after, Jefferson was charged with second-degree battery in relation to an off-campus bar fight.

Now Jefferson wants his stuff back.

The lawyer for the suspended Tiger quarterback filed a motion in court yesterday seeking the return of the property police seized from Jefferson’s apartment.  Reportedly, 49 pairs of shoes were among the items nabbed.

Jefferson’s attorney says that property should be returned if it’s not being used as evidence.  Not only is the lawyer right, but any man who already owns 49 pairs of shoes shouldn’t be forced to go out and buy a 50th.

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The 2011 SEC Season In 25 Lines Or Less

Okay, we lied.  We lied right there in the headline.  There’s no chance of “less.”  We’re using 25 lines here to breakdown the 2011 SEC football season.  That’s two lines per team and one for, well, you’ll see.  The line “25 lines or less” just sounded good.

Everyone does a Power Poll and a “Fearless Forecast” at the start of a new season.  We expect to see a dozen or more regarding the SEC as this week rolls forward.  So we’re going to take a different tack.  One conference, one season, 25 lines.

Besides, we already posted our own predictions for the SEC season way back before Media Days.  (And long before Jordan Jefferson’s arrest, too.)

So without further ado, here’s what we’re thinking on the eve of a new season…

Alabama:  They’ve got the coach and the roster full of top recruits to win another national crown.  But the decision to rotate quarterbacks absolutely scares the heck out of us.

Arkansas:  Is a team really a darkhouse title contender if everyone says it’s a darkhorse title contender?  The Razorbacks can survive the loss of running back Knile Davis, but it’s gonna hurt.

Auburn:  The Tigers have too many new faces at too many different positions going against too tough a schedule.  That said, opponents had better hope they get this bunch early in the year and not late.

Florida:  Can Charlie Weis get more out of the skill position players around John Brantley?  If so, then the Gators have as good a shot as anyone at “pulling an Auburn” in 2011.

Georgia:  On paper, the Dawgs’ two toughest games come in the season’s first two weeks, so there’s no need to panic if they start slow.  Panic should set in, however, if either Isaiah Crowell or Richard Samuel get hurt.

Kentucky:  UK took a slight step backwards in 2010 and the sledding doesn’t look much easier in 2011.  Joker Phillips will have to right the Big Blue ship without Randall Cobb, Derrick Locke and Mike Hartline on offense.

LSU:  Team Turmoil has already lost quarterback Jordan Jefferson and playmaker Russell Shepard indefinitely.  If luck isn’t once again on Les Miles side, it’s possible the wheels could come off for a team that faces a deadly schedule.

Miss. State:  Dan Mullen has the Bulldog Nation believing in themselves.  Too bad then that we feel they’re destined to backslide a bit this fall.

Ole Miss:  Houston Nutt usually finds a way to move the football — even last year the Rebels averaged 30 points per game.  If the defense improves as it should, UM could surprise some folks.

South Carolina:  Don’t worry about Alshon Jeffery’s weight or Stephen Garcia’s behavior.  As long as Marcus Lattimore stays healthy and the Gamecocks handle the pressure of high expectations (for the first time ever), Carolina’s got the roster to finish in the Top 10.

Tennessee:  The Vols don’t have much depth, but they’re due a lucky break or two after last season’s LSU and North Carolina games.  If the Vols can develop a run game to take the pressure off Tyler Bray and their D, UT should go bowling again.

Vanderbilt:  James Franklin has created enthusiasm in Nashville and he’s done eye-poppingly well on the recruiting trail.  If he can now get some points out of Larry Smith and the offense he inherited… he really is a miracle-worker.

Line 25:  We’re betting on the SEC to win its 6th BCS Championship in a row… because — all thanks to Jeffrey Tambor in “The Hangover” — you never walk away from the table when you’re on a heater.

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Things Could Play Out In A Number Of Ways For LSU’s Jefferson; A Redshirt Is A Possibility

After a week of questions, a couple of big ones was answered last Friday — LSU starting senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson was arrested and charged with second degree battery.  That’s a felony charge for his involvement in a Baton Rouge bar fight two weeks ago.

Soon after Jefferson’s arrests, Miles suspended his quarterback and fellow-arrestee, linebacker Josh Johns.

But many more questions remain unanswered.  Jefferson’s case can still play out in a number of ways, including:

* Miles could decide to “un-suspend” his QB before his case goes to trial.  The coach, however, says that won’t happen “unless we had further information.”  Still, he hasn’t ruled it out as a possibility.

* The case could come to some form of quick, unexpected resolution — new evidence clears Jefferson, charges are dropped on some technicality, or Jefferson reaches a very-good-for-him type of plea agreement.  All in short time.  Unlikely, but possible.

* The whole matter could be taken out of Miles’ hands if the university suspends or expels Jefferson for violating code of conduct clauses in the LSU student handbook.  The school doesn’t have to wait for a court decision to rule in such matters.  It’s unlikely Jefferson would get the boot — pun intended, considering what he’s accused of — but as with the other possibilities, this can’t be ruled out.

Glenn Guilbeau of The Shreveport Times lays out one other option for Miles and Jefferson today.  And it’s likely not what Tiger fans were wanting to hear — the senior still has a redshirt year available.

“Yeah, I’ve not crossed that bridge just yet, but that’s a very, very interesting piece,” Miles said.  (Listen closely and you can hear the groans of thousands of fans already fed up with Jefferson emanating from The Bayou.)

In the minds of many Tiger fans, the Zach Mettenberger era can not begin quickly enough.  So the idea of Jefferson — a player who Miles clearly likes — returning for another year in 2012 might be the least popular possibility on the board.

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SEC Headlines – 8/26/11 Part Two

1.  Kentucky coaches believe Collins Ukwu can become a great defensive end.

2.  If quarterback Morgan Newton doesn’t improve, UK and Joker Phillips “are in trouble.”

3.  Freshman receiver Nile Daniel has returned to high school in an effort to gain his eligibility for the Cats.

4.  South Carolina will use both Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw against East Carolina.

5.  This writer says Tennessee got rid of a potential distraction by booting safety Janzen Jackson.

6.  Cuonzo Martin can now get to work with no fear of further NCAA punishment.

7.  Vandy’s strength coach has been working over his new team.

8.  Nick Saban hints at progress in Duron Carter’s eligibility case.

9.  Bama has still not decided how it will use its quarterbacks.

10.  Auburn’s Gus Malzahn wants to run 80 plays per game this year.

11.  Gene Chizik set up a 6am practice this morning.

12.  In the worst kept secret department: Tyler Wilson has finally been named Arkansas’ starting quarterback.

13.  Injured tailback Knile Davis says he’ll be back faster and stronger than ever.

14.  Now under arrest, Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns have also been suspended from the LSU football team.

15.  With all the mess in play in Baton Rouge, Les Miles’ new contract actually offers him more security.

16.  Held back in practice, Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden is ready for game action.

17.  The grind of camp is taking its toll on the Rebels.

18.  MSU’s Vick Ballard says he’ll top the 1,000-yard mark this fall.

19.  Rick Stansbury is now saying he made the decision for Renardo Sidney to go to Houston rather than travel to Europe with the rest of the team.

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Arrest Warrants Issued For LSU’s Jefferson, Johns

Baton Rouge police have issued arrest warrants for LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and defensive lineman Josh Johns in relation to a bar fight last Friday.  Both will be charged with a felony count of second degree battery.

Jefferson and Johns have been asked to turn themselves in.

Stay tuned…

Update: Both have been suspended indefinitely from the football team.

Police have a 2:30 press conference. Bail set at $5,000. The two players post bond and are released.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Latest Hubbub On The Bayou

Due to a doctor’s appointment today, we’ll have a few more links and a few less blurbs on the site this morning.  That’s one reason we went ahead and put together that million-word breakdown on all things expansion last last night (early this morning).

So in a rush, here’s a quick look at the latest from Louisiana State:


1.  Yesterday — for the first time — Les Miles stopped short of calling Jordan Jefferson his starter for the Oregon game.

2.  Eyewitness accounts are starting to come out and “the mood” around the LSU team “darkened” on Thursday as a result.

3.  But not all of the witnesses agree on what took place.

4.  In non-fight news, receiver/playmaker Russell Shepard has been ruled ineligible for violating an NCAA bylaw.

5.  Add it all up and it’s been a nightmarish summer for Miles and his Tigers.

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Baton Rouge Police Search Jefferson’s Apartment

Baton Rouge police searched the apartment of LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson this evening.  A police spokesman said the search would “help prove or disprove the allegations against him.”

BRPD had a warrant as investigators had previously gathered “enough probable cause” for the search, according to The Shreveport Times.  Police left the quarterback’s apartment with “several bags of items.”

This, of course, relates to last Friday morning’s bar fight.  Jefferson and three teammates were questioned by police on Tuesday.

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Report: Jefferson Not Involved In Bar Fight

There’s a new report — behind a pay wall — from TigerSportsDigest.com claiming that LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson might not have been an active participant in last Friday’s bar fight outside a Baton Rouge bar.

A source has told that site — which is the Scout site covering LSU sports — that Jefferson was not directly involved in the brawl.  That would directly contradict multiple media reports that have cited eyewitnesses as saying that Jefferson actually kicked a man in the head during the melee.

As always, stay tuned…

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LSU QB Jefferson Allegedly Involved In Bar Fight

Well this should make him even more popular with Tiger fans.

According to USA Today, LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson has been identified by multiple witnesses for being involved in a fight outside a bar near the LSU campus between 1:30 and 2:00am this morning.

A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department said:


“There was a fight just outside the bar, and four people went to the hospital.  Jordan Jefferson has been implicated a well as other football players, who have not been specifically identified yet.  We’re not calling Jefferson a suspect.  We’re not calling him a victim.  We don’t know how much he was involved, but we’re getting a lot of information leading us in that direction.”


The police say they are hoping to interview Jefferson today and that they will “know more this afternoon, tonight or tomorrow.”

So 15 days before the Tigers open their season against a Top 5 opponent in Oregon, Jefferson and “other football players” were out at a bar at about 2am and were somehow connected to a fight.  Nice.

Les Miles has spent the entire offseason talking up the development and growth of his senior signal-caller.  While many Tiger fans have prayed and hoped for juco transfer Zach Mettenberger to be given the football this fall, it’s seemed that Jefferson has been protected from on high.

Now his own actions might — might, we say — have put his job in jeopardy… at least for the LSU’s opening night game.

Stay tuned.


(Bitter, Sarastic Sidenote — Thanks to Jefferson and crew for making sure we didn’t have a signle day this week without some sort of breaking news, scandal or arrest.  Working anything less than a 10-hour day would have been really disappointing.)

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