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Buccaneers sign LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rokie camp

TAMPA, FL - MAY 4: Quarterback Jordan Jefferson #7 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs upfield during a rookie practice at the Buccaneers practice facility May 4, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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After an up-and-down college career at LSU, quarterback Jordan Jefferson looked like a long shot to make it in the NFL. He still might be, but he was impressive enough at this weekend’s rookie minicamp that the Buccaneers have signed him to a contract.

Jefferson is one of the players who drew the most praise from the coaching staff in Tampa Bay this weekend.

He’s an athletic guy who has a strong arm,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “We wanted to gauge his development as a quarterback. I thought he made consistent improvement all weekend. There’s a lot of upside there, so I think we would like to have a chance to work with him.”

The Buccaneers’ starter will be Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky will be the backup. Jefferson will compete with Brett Ratliff and Zach Collaros to make the team as a third quarterback, and he sounds optimistic that that’s a competition he can win.

“I just want to prove that I’m a very talented player,” Jefferson said. “I played at LSU for a large [number] of games. I had a very strong winning percentage there. I was the second-most winningest quarterback there. But at the same time, I’m not where I want to be. But I’m a competitor and I can be the pro style quarterback that Tampa Bay wants me to be. But I have to do a lot before I can get to that situation. I have to learn. That’s what I’ll be doing in my time here. I just want to prove that I can be an NFL quarterback.”