It can be argued that Destrehan wide receiver Rickey Jefferson is the top prospect in Louisiana for the class of 2013, despite his junior campaign not playing out as expected.
The Wildcats (2-8) finished in last place in District 8-5A, the season going south when Jefferson went down with a season-ending knee injury on Sept. 30.
Destrehan won its first two games of the season, then dropped a two-point loss to Edna Karr – which went on to play for the Class 4A State Championship.
After a 26-14 loss to West Jefferson in week four, Jefferson met his fate against Landon Collins and Dutchtown.
"I had jumped up and made the catch, and I saw Landon coming," Jefferson said. "I pretended I didn't see him, so I was going to make a cut and paused, and when I came down my right leg didn't move. I tried to juke and it just didn't move.
"It was a torn ACL. I had never gotten hurt before, so I didn't know what to expect. I tried to go back out there because I never got told that I couldn't play. I ended up going to Baton Rouge for the Kentucky game the next day because it was (older brother and LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson's) first game back. Then after that I went to the doctor."
Since the injury Jefferson has continued a weekly rehab regiment that puts him on pace to return to football this spring.
"I just came from rehab (Monday), and I feel really good," Jefferson said. "I do a lot of leg extensions and bicycle riding. Just basic rehab stuff.
"I will be healthy in time for combines this spring. I was invited to the Army All-American and Under Armour All-American junior combines. I was going to go to one, but then the injury happened. I plan on going to the Under Armour game next year if I get the invite."
With his big brother back as the starter for LSU, the four-star prospect said all is well between him and the Tigers, who verbally offered Jefferson a scholarship last summer.
"I really like LSU, and that's one offer I'm really glad I picked up early on in my process," Jefferson said. "They have been good to me all the way. I love how they are playing right now, too.
"I went over to Atlanta for the SEC Championship with my family. That game was special. The Georgia defense was hyped up, and my brother and some of the other players told me that Georgia threw some things at them that they hadn't expected.
"They flipped the switch in the second half, though. I don't even know what to say about Tyrann Mathieu. You really can't say anything. Tyrann and Patrick Peterson influenced me to play cornerback."
At 6-foot and 185 pounds, Jefferson remains undecided about his position at the college level.
At this summer's LSU camp, he worked out at both wide receiver and cornerback, and then played both positions in the five games he participated in this fall.
"I don't know for sure what I'm going to do," Jefferson said. "It depends on how next year goes. I love playing receiver, but then again I love being a defensive back.
"Every time I was on the field as a cornerback, I almost got a pick. Only one player, from Karr, caught a pass on me, and that was a two-step route and he came back and just caught it and went down."
For now Jefferson is going to put recruiting on the backburner and settle in on rehab.
Rickey Jefferson: 'I really like LSU'
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