It was quite the interesting weekend for LSU's Jordan Jefferson at the prestigious Manning Passing Academy. On the (training) field, Jefferson made waves by performing well enough for no less an authority than Chris Mortensen to include him in the same Twitter breath with Landry Jones and Andrew Luck.
But what Jefferson did off the field Friday afternoon might have had even more impact. Asked about the possibility of yielding his starting position to JUCO transfer Zach Mettenberger, Jefferson had this to say (emphasis added):
“You hear it a lot, but in reality, I will be the starter, hands down,” Jefferson said.
“Even though I know I’m the starter, you also have to stay humble at times because you never know what can happen,” Jefferson said. “I’m doing the best of my abilities to teach Mettenberger the full game since I’ve been here for three years. There’s going to come a point of time where he will be the starter so just passing down the knowledge will benefit him a lot.”Clearly, Jefferson doesn't see the LSU quarterback "battle" as one between colleagues in which he's only a favorite; he sees it as something other than a battle entirely, a mentor-pupil relationship in which Mettenberger's ascension (barring injury) is as unlikely as Josh Nunes usupring Luck at Stanford.
Based on Les Miles's comments this past spring, he may not be entirely wrong, and there's no question Jefferson will begin LSU's 2011 season under center. But we nonetheless have to question whether Jefferson doesn't seem to be overcompensating for some legitimate, nagging worry with an attitude that -- we feel -- borders on cockiness.
Of course, if Jefferson shows the improvement shown off at the Manning Academy (and Mortenson wasn't alone in his assessment), he really won't have anything to worry about. But the last time LSU fans got a look at him, he was busy going 4-of-14 in the Bayou Bengals' spring game without a touchdown. Until he takes the field against Oregon and proves that performance -- and all the other mediocre performances of the past three seasons -- are behind him, the doubts are going to persist.