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.
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:
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?