Redemption city: Jefferson's season has risen from ashes

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 1:17 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 9 at 1:19 AM

Jordan Jefferson's been in this situation before - playing with his team in the Superdome for the biggest prize available to them on their level.

Four years ago he played his final high school game on the Superdome turf in December 2007, leading Destrehan to the 5-A state championship.

He's hoping history will repeat itself in the final game of his college career...

"This is some place I’d call a sanctuary for me, so I’m preparing myself to have a great game on Monday and to rekindle that flame that I had in high school,” he said.

But the season has been no bed of roses for Jefferson, who found himself under fire this offseason, for his alleged involvement in a bar brawl back in July.. He returned to the team in early October, but credited his experience with "Shady-gate" with preparing him for potential troubles on the field.

“I feel like I’m more prepared because what I went through, this season, was a tremendous amount of adversity, more than what can be compared to what can happen to me on the field as far as throwing a pick or fumbling the ball, It was quite easy for me to overcome a situation like that having been through a situation like I had been through early in the season."

Jordan missed several games and played sparingly upon his return. When he did get back on the field, the response by the Tiger fans was far from universally supportive. Facing charges that could have eventually resulted in a loss of his freedom helped produce a hunger that has served him well when he finally got more chances and won back his starting job.

"A difficult situation that he was in certainly provided him with an experience that’s helped him want leadership and helped him want more for the back end of the season," said head coach Les Miles, one of Jordan's biggest supporters. "I see him really preparing to play his best football.”

Jefferson also thinks the Tiger offense will be more successful this time against Bama, because now that he's the starter, he's got a better handle on what LSU wants to do.

“This time around I’m more involved in the game plan,” he said. “A lot of stuff will be in the game plan that I’m good at. The first time I played I wasn’t a starter, I was just a rotator, getting the game whenever it was best for the team, but now that I’m the starter, more things are in the game plan for my abilities."

And while he wants more than anything to win a national title with his teammates, he hopes to be able to dedicate the win to those who have supported him in good times, and bad....

”They’ve had an amazing effect on me and it’s something I want to do for them more than anybody else. I want to do it for the people who were here for me and who are real fans for us. I’d like to do it for them.”

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