Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson and his agent are unhappy with the NFL’s decision to revoke his invitation to the combine.
Ferguson’s agent, Safarrah Lawson, issued a statement Thursday defending Ferguson’s character. NFL Network reported Wednesday that the league rescinded Ferguson’s invitation after his background check revealed he had been convicted of simple battery following a fight at a McDonald’s during his freshman year at Tech.
“We disagree with the NFL’s position with regards to Jaylon Ferguson,” the statement read, in part, via NFL Network. “Jaylon is a 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 batter. 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.
“As opposed to penalizing and vilifying the future players of the league, we would hope the league would allow Jaylon and other similarly situated players the opportunity to prove to potential employers that they are remorseful, and have learned from their mistakes, accepted responsibility, want to be good role models and are better people now for it.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 14, 2019
The NFL released a memo in 2016 saying it would not invite prospects to “any league-related event” if they had misdemeanor or felony convictions for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses, per USA Today.
A potential first-round pick, Ferguson recorded an NCAA-record 45 sacks during his four seasons at Louisiana Tech and was named the 2018 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year.
While Ferguson won’t attend the combine, which takes place Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis, NFL Network notes Ferguson has already started the process of reaching out to teams to schedule visits.