Capital One Bowl 2012: Why Alshon Jeffery's Senseless Mistake Will Hurt His Rep

Luis Batlle@lbatll1Contributor IJanuary 2, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 08:  Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates runs with the ball during their game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In what has been a heated 2012 Capital One Bowl matchup between the No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers and No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks, Gamecocks wide receiver Alshon Jeffery let his emotions get the best of him.

It's a senseless, disappointing confrontation that ultimately takes away from his impressive performance this afternoon.

In a sideline confrontation that featured pushing and shoving as well as punches thrown, Alshon Jeffery and cornerback Alfonso Dennard got into it with just several minutes remaining in the third quarter of a tight game. South Carolina was leading by a 16-13 score.

The two future first-round picks in the 2012 NFL draft were ejected from the game, as it was a selfish act from both players in this contest.

Prior to the ejection, Dennard had been making life difficult for Jeffery throughout the contest. His tight coverage held Jeffery to just four catches on the day. Yet Jeffery's production had nonetheless been impressive.

With those four catches, Jeffery was able to pick up a whopping 148 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was arguably the play of the day for this team, as it was a 52-yard, Hail Mary touchdown catch that came with no time left in the first half.

Yet upon evaluating this game, NFL scouts will, more so than anything else, take into account his confrontation with Dennard to close out the third quarter.

It is a statement that he believes he is bigger than the team, as he was willing to cost his team a flag and ejection in the process.

Arguably the best player this Gamecocks team brings to the table was unable to help his team win a bowl game in the fourth quarter, and this will speak loudly to NFL scouts come draft time.

With the countless attitude problems college stars bring to the NFL each draft, there is no doubt that a player like Jeffery is now under the spotlight. Jeffery is as great a talent as there is in this draft at the receiver position, yet his ability to help his team will now begin to be questioned.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.