Improved Jefferson Ready For Final Season

LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson discusses his play, the 2011 season, and more.

LSU enters the 2011 season as one of the favorites to win the SEC Western Division. To make a return trip to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship game, the Tigers will count on senior Jordan Jefferson to finally reach his potential at quarterback.

"Senior year is the year when you have to go out with a bang," Jefferson said. "It's the most important year of your career; it's all about how you finish.

"This season is important to me," he added. "I've put in a lot of hard work and dedication going into the season. Hopefully, this year is special."

Jefferson was asked what how he feels when he hears people say "LSU is a quarterback away from winning a national championship."

"You always hear criticism, but it also motivates you," said Jefferson, who threw for 108.5 yards per game, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season in the SEC's worst passing offense. "It helps me work harder, but at the same time it helps me improve what people feel I lack at. I work at the things people say I lack at and hopefully I can prove them wrong."

Center T-Bob Hebert said he thinks that many quarterbacks would crumble under the amount of criticism that has been lobbed at Jefferson.

"His journey has not been easy," Hebert said. "Today more than ever, because of how integrated the media is, as a college athlete you get thrust on a pedestal and all of your mistakes are made to be bigger than maybe they actually are.

"Jordan has really proved how resilient he is," he added. "He keeps fighting and working to get better. I'm really happy to have him as the leader of our team and our quarterback."

Jefferson said that the importance of playing consistently is the most important lesson he learned last season.

"You can't have a game where you slack because it shows flaws in your offense," he said.

Jefferson said he thinks the addition of offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe to the LSU coaching staff has helped him improve his game, resulting in greater confidence on the field.

It didn't hurt that LSU added junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger to the roster during the offseason. It was fuel for Jefferson to continue to improve his game, but he also said that he and Mettenberger have become friends and that he's trying to teach him the quarterback position so that he'll be ready when it's his turn to start.

Jefferson and LSU won't have long to see how much his improvement will mean to the season as the Bengal Tigers face Oregon in the season opener Sept. 3 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex.

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