Nearly two weeks after the NFL Draft, those close to Derrius Guice are still miffed by his fall amid questions over perceived character issues. Count former LSU running back Justin Vincent in that number.
“I am highly disappointed with the way that the NFL handled this situation,” Vincent said on “Hangin’ with Hester” on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge. “I was with that young man for the past three years and I’ve never seen him in trouble.
“He was never an issue class-wise. He never was an issue learning his stuff or just an issue at all. He was a model student athlete: went to class, came to practice, performed on Saturdays, did what he was supposed to do.”
Vincent spent four years in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers before joining Les Miles’ LSU staff as Assistant Director of Player Personnel in 2011. In 2016, he left his post to accept a position in a fundraising role with the Tiger Athletic Foundation.
Part of the issue stemmed from a radio interview Guice did after the NFL Combine where he suggested that some teams asked inappropriate questions about his sexual orientation and his mother. The NFL says it conducted an investigation and found no evidence such questions were asked.
“Whose word are you taking,” Vincent asked. “At that point, they’re picking sides because when it’s all said and done, they don’t know.”
Guice, who was projected as a first round draft pick, was taken in the second round with the 59th overall pick by Washington. He was the seventh running back selected in the draft.
“It’s very disappointing and disheartening,” Vincent said. “For someone who has spent a lot of quality time with that young man and seen the way his life could have turned out if he didn’t love this game and want it to be a provider for his family and want it to be an inspiration to his friends, its heartbreaking and it’s sad at the same time because (NFL teams) picked sides.
“(Guice) told a story about what happened to him and they said, ‘Nah, it didn’t happen’ so we’re going to penalize this kid.
“He lost probably $15 million on that day.”
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