Junior defensive back Jalen Mills is expected to be a big part of LSU's success during the 2014 college football season, but the highly touted defensive back has some off-field issues to sort out first.
According to RedStickNow.com, the 20-year-old was arrested early Wednesday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and charged with second-degree battery stemming from an incident at his apartment complex in May.
LSU officially announced Mills' suspension via the team's website:
Miles said that he will not make any further comments until the incident has gone through the legal system.
WAFB had the first report on the suspension.
The following is Mills' mugshot courtesy of Fox6 WBRC-TV:
According to the report, Mills allegedly punched a woman who knocked on his door in search of a friend. The woman reportedly lost consciousness briefly after hitting the pavement and required four stitches to her lip.
After returning to Baton Rouge from Houston on June 9, Mills was scheduled to meet with investigators. Mills skipped the June 10 meeting, however, and didn't return phone calls, which resulted in a felony warrant for his arrest being issued, according to RedStickNow.com.
Not only is this a disturbing situation for Mills as an individual, but it is also a major blow to the LSU football program and head coach Les Miles.
Mills is a two-year starter in the Tigers' secondary who has steadily improved since coming to Baton Rouge. After racking up 57 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman, Mills accrued 67 tackles, three interceptions and three sacks during his sophomore campaign last year.
Mills was so productive last season that he was placed on the watch list for a major award, per the LSU football Twitter account:
According to the Lott IMPACT Trophy's official website, the award is presented to "college football's best in character and performance."
Although Mills is innocent until proven guilty, one can only assume that the charges levied against him will hurt his candidacy for this particular award.
More importantly, his eligibility at LSU could potentially be in jeopardy depending upon how this process plays out. He has already been suspended for an undetermined amount of time, which suggests that LSU won't hesitate to take further action if he is found guilty.
The fact that Mills avoided investigators is a red flag that had to hurt him in the court of public opinion, but he will have an opportunity to explain himself regardless. Whether or not that explanation is satisfactory is something that LSU football fans will be watching closely in the coming weeks and months.
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