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Insider

Rickey Jefferson makes it 20 for LSU

7/16/2012

After a bit of surprising recruiting news Saturday at LSU's 7 on 7 camp, things returned to form Sunday during Day 2 of the Tigers' July camp bonanza.

ESPN 300 member Rickey Jefferson (Destrehan, La./Destrehan), long considered a lean to commit to LSU, finally made it official Sunday evening when he gave his pledge and became the 20th member of LSU's 2013 class.

"I talked to my parents about it and thought about it the last couple of weeks, and I felt that it was the right time," Jefferson said. "It was the right decision for me to make for my future, and I know I love LSU -- it's in my heart, and I want to be a Tiger."

Jefferson, a threat at wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner for Destrehan has long been considered a shoe-in for LSU because of his legacy status. His older brother Jordan led the Wildcats to a Class 5A state championship before starting 32 games at quarterback for LSU from 2008 to 2011. Not surprisingly, those bloodlines played a role in his decision to join LSU.

"I knew I wanted to be a Tiger since he did," said Rickey of his older brother.

Like several other commitments in this 2013 class, there's room for debate about where Jefferson will line up on Saturdays -- receiver or corner? But after committing to join the Tigers, Jefferson said the coaches left no doubt -- he'll be bolstering LSU's defense, with a chance to contribute on special teams.

"They want me at corner and punt returner/kick returner -- they talked to me about that the day I got offered," he said.

As a two-way starter, cornerback isn't a new or adverse role to Jefferson. In the past year he said he's played enough defense -- between high school and camp football -- that he's starting to settle in at cornerback.

"I've become comfortable turning my hips, and my footwork is pretty nice. I'm really physical at DB -- it just felt natural at that position," Jefferson said.

It can be easy to forget, but it's remarkable that Jefferson is even in position to accept an SEC scholarship. As a junior just last fall, he tore his ACL near the goal line in a loss to Class 5A juggernaut Dutchtown. He wasn't able to play the second half of the year after starting the season with plenty of promise. But it didn't take long before Jefferson was at work rehabbing the injury.

"I've been working hard to get back where I was and not feel sorry for myself," he said. "I need to just continue the same grind I had before I got hurt."

To that end, the Tigers kept a close eye on Jefferson throughout the spring, checking in to see if the speedster was moving back toward full strength.

"At Junior Day they talked to me about it, and they had been hearing about me -- they have eyes all over the place," Jefferson said of the LSU coaches. "They found out that I was doing pretty good, and (LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson) came to watch me work out, and he said I was back where I was."

Jefferson didn't work out Monday afternoon, opting instead to take it easy before confirming his commitment. With that out of the way, he said he'll be back on campus Tuesday to talk to defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and start moving toward the future.

"I'll be there to pick up some things from Coach Raymond and see what he wants me to start working on -- nothing too serious," he said.