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Laveranues Leon Coles ( ) (born December 29, 1977 in ) is an American football wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.

A Pro Bowl selection in 2003, Coles has also played for the Washington Redskins.

Early years

While attending Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Floridamarker, Coles played football, basketball, and ran track. In football, he rushed for nearly 5,000 yards in his career, was named to the Blue Chip Dream Team, and was a first team Class 4A All-State selection. In basketball, he was a member of a state championship team as a senior. In track, he recorded a time of 10.6 seconds in the 100 meter dash and 21.8 seconds in the 200-meter dash. Due to a scandal at Florida State which resulted in Coles's dismissal from the team, he often refers to his high school when introducing himself on Monday Night Football.

College career

Coles attended Florida State Universitymarker.

Dillard's department store incident

On September 29, 1999, during his senior season at Florida State, Coles and teammate Peter Warrick went to a Tallahassee, Floridamarker Dillard's department store and, with the aid of a cashier with whom they were friendly, purchased $412.38 worth of clothing and were charged only $21.40—a discount so large that it is considered shoplifting under Florida law. An off-duty officer saw the event through a surveillance camera, according to police. Coles, Warrick, and the clerk, Rachel Myrtil, were arrested for grand theft. On October 22, Coles pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty theft and was dismissed from the team. At that year's rivalry game at Florida, Gators fans brought Dillard's bags to Ben Hill Griffin Stadiummarker to mock the team. Florida State won the game, and Seminole fans returned the mocking by requesting the bags as souvenirs.

Coles childhood nickname was "Trouble". Coles was arrested in 1998 for simple battery, suspended for the Seminoles' 1999 season opener versus Louisiana Tech for academic reasons, and discovered to have accepted a plane ticket from a sports agent's representative in 1999.

Professional career

First stint with Jets

Coles was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round (78th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. Coles's first career touchdown catch came in the Jets' "Monday Night Miracle" victory against the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2000.

Washington Redskins

After a spectacular 2002 season, Coles signed with the Washington Redskins in the 2002 offseason and admitted that he left the Jets because the Redskins offered him more money. He made the Pro Bowl for the Redskins in 2003. At the end of the 2004 season, Coles left the Redskins because of a lack of a deep passing game from Joe Gibbs's conservative 2004-2005 offense.

Second stint with Jets

He was traded back to the Jets in 2005 for Santana Moss. After a disappointing season in 2005, Coles enjoyed a rebirth in 2006, directly due to the good health of quarterback, Chad Pennington. On December 26, 2005 he caught the last touchdown in Monday Night Football's last game on ABC. Coles was released by the Jets on February 25, 2009.

Cincinnati Bengals

Coles was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals on March 4, 2009. He would agree in principle to a four-year, $28 million contract.

Sexual abuse

During the first year of his second stint with the New York Jets, Coles revealed that he had been sexually abused between ages 10 to 13 by a man whom his mother, Sirretta married. Coles refused to divulge the man's name. After the abuse was revealed, Sirretta Coles divorced the man, who was later sentenced to nine years in prison. He served about a third of his sentence and was released. He was convicted of another crime and has been imprisoned since 2003 for it.


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