Jaylon Ferguson, the NCAA’s all-time sack leader, had his NFL scouting combine invite rescinded after a background check revealed that he had been convicted of simple battery as a freshman after a fight at a McDonald’s, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
The NFL has previously told teams that any prospects found to have misdemeanor or felony convictions for domestic violence, sexual assault or weapons offenses would not be invited to “any league-related event.”
“We disagree with the NFL’s position with regards to Jaylon Ferguson,” Safarrah Lawson, Ferguson’s agent, said in a statement to ESPN. “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 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 out young people today.”
Ferguson, a defensive end from Louisiana Tech, broke the Football Bowl Subdivision career sack record last season by recording 45 in four years, surpassing the total set by former Arizona State standout and current Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. He was projected by some outlets to be a potential first-round pick.
Two other players, Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams, were not invited to this year’s combine due to previous guilty pleas. On Tuesday, Simmons revealed that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament during training.
The combine will be held from Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.