LSU football coach Les Miles found himself in an unpleasantly familiar position Wednesday: having to explain what he knew about the legal issues regarding a player named Jefferson.
Rickey Jefferson, the younger brother of former Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson, was charged with resisting arrest Feb. 2 after allegedly being involved in a fight at a Mardi Gras parade in Metairie.
Rickey Jefferson’s arrest came four days before he signed with LSU on Feb. 6. He was given a misdemeanor summons for resisting an officer, battery on a police officer and interfering with a legal investigation.
Miles was asked if was aware of Jefferson’s arrest before signing day and whether it would affect his status with the team.
“This is new information,” Miles said Wednesday at a news conference to preview spring practice. “We don’t know. We have to find out what’s going on. I don’t have a lot of information at this point.”
Miles said he has not spoken to Rickey Jefferson about his arrest.
Jordan Jefferson was arrested for his alleged role in a fight in August 2011 at a bar near the LSU campus. His legal troubles prevented him from playing in the Tigers’ first four games that season.
Rickey Jefferson, a 5-foot-10, 187-pound defensive back from Destrehan, is not expected to enroll at LSU until this summer.
Miles said senior Josh Williford will get some work at center as well as left guard this spring. Junior Elliott Porter is expected to be the player to beat as LSU seeks a replacement for departed senior center P.J. Lonergan.
When not working at center, Williford is expected to take over for La’El Collins at left guard. LSU will start Collins at left tackle this spring.
Junior James Hairston is expected to continue to be LSU’s specialist on kickoffs, but Miles said he and redshirt freshman Colby Delahoussaye will fight it out to be the replacement for former place-kicker Drew Alleman.
Jamie Keehn is the heavy favorite to replace fellow Australian Brad Wing as the Tigers’ punter.
Miles was asked how he plans to balance the need for contact work in the spring with trying to avoid injuries.
“We will have three big scrimmages and we will hit, though not necessarily tackle, in parts of the other practices,” Miles said. “You have to develop the team with a mindful eye of the guys who need to get hit. La’El Collins, he needs to take a lot of reps. We need to see how he does there.
“We want to continue to do the things we do but not overhit and sustain injury. That view happens every spring.”
Miles said LSU students will be invited for the second straight year to attend one of the Tigers’ spring practice days.
Students will be allowed in to practice on Thursday, April 18, the Tigers’ final practice before the Spring Game on April 20.
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