All those behavioral issues that allegedly played into the NFL Draft slide of LSU running back Derrius Guice? They’re a manifestation of teams’ imaginations, according to his high school coach.
In an interview with SEC Country, one of Guice’s high school coaches at Baton Rouge Catholic says the running back — who fell to the No. 59 overall pick in the second round and the Washington Redskins — never did anything out of line or against program policies. Or at least nothing more serious than a violation former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner would have found horrific.
“One of the biggest infractions,” Baton Rouge Catholic head coach Gabe Fertitta, Guice’s former offensive coordinator, told SEC Country, “was when he had a mustache or some hair on his chin.
“I’ve had to deal with way more difficult [situations] as a high school coach. Kids caught with drugs, drinking alcohol. Never happened with Derrius. Not one time.”
That Guice’s high school coach would come forward to defend him is certainly understandable. The back was seen as an elite, likely first-round prospect in the NFL Draft until after the NFL Combine, when he came forward alleging unnamed franchises of asking him inappropriate questions about his mother and his own sexuality. The NFL later cleared all teams from any wrongdoing following a league investigation into Guice’s claims which apparently raised flags among some organizations.
Not Fertitta, who said that while Guice may have shown up late for a team meeting once, he never provided anything like some of the stories that emerged about his personality leading up to the draft.
“I heard a guy say Derrius is chatty,” Fertitta said. “Is that a crime? His personality is out there. He’s not afraid to voice his opinion or say things on social media. I guess that turns some people off, but that’s just him.
“The NFL is a big business, and people make a lot of money from other people falling. … He’s well-versed in adversity. It ain’t like this is the first time. I expect him to keep rolling.”