A four-year-old fight at a McDonald’s is haunting a top NFL draft talent.
Jaylon Ferguson, a pass-rusher from Louisiana Tech and the NCAA’s all-time sack leader, will not be going to the Scouting Combine later this month after a background check uncovered Ferguson was convicted of simple battery during his freshman year.
“We disagree with the NFL’s position with regards to Jaylon Ferguson,” his agent, Safarrah Lawson, said in a statement on Thursday. “Jaylon is great person who made a mistake 4 years ago before he started playing college football. He was involved in a scuffle that resulted in him being charged with misdemeanor simple battery. He received a deferred judgment and $189.00 fine, a proper punishment for a fight between two teenagers.
“Since that day Jaylon has been a fine and upstanding student athlete that personifies the things we are trying to teach our young people today. The past four years at Louisiana Tech Jaylon has been a team leader who has led on and off the field clearly learning from the lessons of his past.”
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Ferguson, a possible first-round selection in April’s NFL draft, is a potential Giants target, having met with team brass at the Senior Bowl last month.
The NFL will not allow players to participate at the combine if a background check shows a record of a felony or misdemeanor conviction involving violence.
Ferguson, who also was charged with public intoxication in college, finished his career with 45 sacks, including 17.5 as a senior in 2018. The NCAA did not recognize sacks as an official statistic until 2000. The unofficial career leaders are Derrick Thomas (Alabama) and Tedy Bruschi (Arizona), who each had 52 sacks, according to their schools.
Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (Mississippi State) and wide receiver Preston Williams (Colorado State) also must sit out the combine because of prior convictions.
–With Field Level Media