Jordan Jefferson was named the starting quarterback for LSU in fall practice 2011 as he began his senior year
After coach Miles and his new staff told the fans how much improved and under control Jefferson would be, everybody was looking to the season with much excitement.
But all was changed when Jefferson chose to sneak out after curfew and break team rules by going to a bar and then ending up in a bar fight and causing severe injury to another person.
As a result, Jefferson was subsequently arrested and charged in the fight so coach Miles suspended him and named Jarrett Lee in as the starter for the 2011 season.
Lee has responded much more efficiently than anyone ever thought he would, and his terrific leadership and managing skills have brought this LSU football team a 5-0 record and a Number 1 ranking in the AP polls.
With the great job that Jarrett Lee has been doing, one would ask what more could one expect as the Tigers have been soring along with team unity and a winning chemistry under Lee's guidance.
But, now that Jefferson has been reinstated to the team, things on the LSU team are threatening to become a bit unsettled.
The main reason for the unsettling on the team is that Jefferson's return has not been a quiet,peaceful, and supportive return. As an example, Jefferson made it public in an media interview that he wants his job old back and he says he will do whatever it takes.
In light of Jefferson's return with the attitude and personal statements he has made, I have outlined the following five reasons I believe Jefferson's return could derail this successful and potentially great football season.
Team unity along with championship goals are two very essential factors that are main ingredients in producing the great success this year's LSU Tiger football team has achieved to this point.
Mostly because of team goals and unity LSU has now reached the Pinnacle of college football by earning them the current ranking of Number 1 in the AP poll.
LSU's defense has long been known for it's tenacity and fierce approach to winning football games, but now under the leadership of Senior quarterback Jarrett Lee, the LSU offense is also becoming very productive and it is growing each and every week.
But, now with the re-instatement of quarterback Jordan Jefferson, LSU is faced with a new problem that could potentially threaten this Team's unity and interrupt it's championship goals.
Jefferson was the starter for the last two years, but he lost his job because he broke team rules and then broke the law by getting involved in a preseason bar fight.
His return to the team could force many of his teammates and friends to chose between current quarterback Jarrett Lee and former quarterback Jordan Jefferson. There were no such problem existing while Jefferson was out as Lee has been managing an executing the LSU offense with increasing precision while providing stable leadership.
If Jefferson would simply have just come back as a member of the team and showed full support for Jarrett Lee's leadership to this point, instead of publicly challenging Jarrett Lee as the starter there would be no reasons for contention or forcing a teammate to choose. But, now he is creating possible divisions where there was none before.
Team unity is such a fragile but yet vital factor on any Football team, and any negative squabbling or personal issues can certainly disrupt a team's unity and take their focus off of achieving championship goals.
For the past two years, Jarrett Lee has been serving quietly as the backup quarterback to Jordan Jefferson, but he has still continued to work hard and prepare himself for the opportunity to gain more playing time.
But, Lee chose instead to be a man of character and discipline by sticking with his original commitment to LSU no matter what and thank God he did.
This year when the chips were down in fall camp after Jordan Jefferson chose to disobey team rules and ended up in a bar fight, it was Jarrett Lee that coach Les Miles looked to and he was ready, willing,and able to step in and lead LSU in the daunting task of facing number 3 ranked Oregon in the season opener.
As he has always done, Lee assumed his new role as a confident leader and took control of this highly talented team ready to show what kind of a team they really are on the national stage.
Though not flashy or self interested, General Lee has been growing more comfortable and confident in his role each week as he leads LSU to victory after victory.
Under Lee's leadership and guidance, LSU is now 5-0 and they are currently ranked number 1 in the AP polls. Most LSU fans are very pleased with what LSU has accomplished under Lee, and the thought of changing a very good working model in any way has upset fans or at least it has made them very nervous. .
Since Jefferson's return, players like Tyrann Mathieu appeared on ESPN and said would like to see Jefferson return since he has worked so hard, but on the same show, Les MIles made it clear he was sticking with Lee.
So it seems we may have the beginning of spliting the camp with regard to who prefers whom on this LSU team, and none of this would be happening if Jefferson would not have returned with an attitude.
Frankly, it is my own opinion,that LSU would be much better off without Jordan Jefferson on this team.
Actually, I think Lee should have replaced him last year because Jefferson led LSU as the 105th ranked offense in all of college football. Jefferson's passing statistics were in a word atrocious.
LSU Team after Victory
As LSU began it's fall camp, it became evident that this year's LSU team would be very talented and awesome on defense and they had high hopes for the offense as well.
With returning stars like Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, Eric Reid, and a host of other very talented defensive players, LSU was focused on dominating every opponent they faced.
As the season started out they gave no one any reason to change their minds, and in fact, this LSU defense turned the heads of most national experts with the way they were playing that LSU eventually jumped over Alabama and Oklahoma to become No. 1 in the AP national polls.
It was easy to see that this LSU team was going to be something very special not only with their tenacious defense, but now with the emergence of Jarrett Lee as quarterback, the LSU offense was making large strides in it's own right.
Each week LSU played on the road against top 25 opponents, and each week they dominated their competition as the defense took control and the offense scored points.
It was easy to see that coach Les Miles and his entire coaching staff had this team focused and on a mission to not only win the SEC, but to also play in the BCS Title game.
By his failure to take responsibility for his actions, and then the public statement that he wants to take over the starting job, one can only wonder why he thinks he can call himself a team player and then make the statements that he has to the media.
All athletes want to be stars, but Jefferson was suspended and he is returning to a very successful team without him so why can he not just come back and be a team player and wait for his opportunity to just fit in like Jarrett Lee did.
After all it is no one's fault but his own that he is now the backup quarterback.
In his own words, Jordan Jefferson told the media that he stands beside coach Miles and ask to be put in.
Frankly, I find that very annoying and I am most surprised that coach Miles puts up with that stuff. I guess Jefferson thinks he is special and has some birth right to that job, but he is way out of line pushing on coach Miles during games.
I just look at how Jarrett Lee conducted himself in the face of losing his starting position in 2008 just because of an injury. Lee did not cry and bemoan the fact that Jefferson took his starting job away, but to the contrary, he showed courage, character, and manhood by just working hard in practice and patiently waiting for his chance to return.
Now that Lee has returned and performed so well, it is hard to see how you can compare the two LSU quarterbacks and their personalities.
It would be nice if Jordan Jeffeerson would just be a team member and support the success his team is having without him instead of making his personal goals the issue for this team to have to deal with.
I hope coach Miles will not give into this whinning and complaining about his postion and just keep focused on things as they have been before Jefferson chose to interupt this team with his return.
If he can contribute with his legs, then use him just like they did with Jarrett Lee and passing game last year, but it is time for Jefferson to get on the bench and be a supportive team member and work hard and wait for his opportunity.
Competition is one thing in fall camp, but having to look over your shoulder in mid season becomes a distraction and it can cause Lee to try to make or force plays he would not normally attempt.
They say competition is healthy, and I do agree as it makes all of us get on our toes and perform at our highest ability.
However, this team under Jarrett Lee's leadership is doing very well and they is no need to make any changes to a working system.
If Jordan Jefferson wants to come in and help the team with his running ability, I see that as a very helpful and good situation for LSU.
I think that will certainly be coach Les Miles' plans for this team, but if Jefferson continues to try to push Lee out of the way instead of working with him, then I see his behavior as destructive.
With Lee running this team with more and more confidence each week, there is no need or place for a self centered individual like Jefferson to put himself in a position to be the goat instead of the hero.
Men of character first of all admit and make amends for their failures, but so far I have not seen that attribute coming from Jordan Jefferson.
My fear is that if he is allowed to divide this team and attempt to destroy the team's confidence in Jarrett Lee's leadership, then I am afraid this rare opportunity that LSU has may go up in smoke.