We wrapped up our countdown of the Tigers’ 10 best players with a real shocker at No. 1. You should also read through all of our other SPRING STORYLINE features, linked below, for more on the hottest topics facing the Tigers.
New faces in the front seven
We’ll close out this series with the biggest question mark for this year’s team — who will be the starting quarterback?
Who takes LSU’s first offensive snap against McNeese State on Sept. 5? That question probably won’t be answered this spring, but you better believe it’ll be the focus of every practice. It has been for a calendar year, dating back to the start of last year’s spring practice, and the competition will probably continue through the summer and into the fall.
Unless one quarterback absolutely blows away the other, expect LSU to keep its quarterback position close to the vest until the season draws near (and even then, Les Miles may still try to keep it secret).
But we will at least get to see this spring where the two quarterbacks are in their development. Has Anthony Jennings improved his technique to hit receivers with more consistency? Does Brandon Harris have it together between the ears to make the most of his talent and potential?
We’ll see the two side-by-side for about 20-30 minutes each practice, throwing against air to unguarded receivers. Only so much can be gathered from those observations. The real juice comes in the closed portions of practice, when the quarterbacks are tasked with reading real defenses. That’s something both can work on and should help separate the two when it comes down to it.
As much focus that will be on the quarterbacks this spring though, just as much should be on Cam Cameron.
He’s admitted that he maybe overestimated how much he could throw at his quarterbacks last year. The dropoff from Zach Mettenberger to Jennings and Harris was a bit steeper than he first expected. He understands that now, and we’ll see if that changes his teaching this spring.
He’s told recruits that this year he plans to cater his offense to the quarterback, instead of the other way around. He’s been criticized of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and now it’s time to put both guys in a position that best caters to their skill set.
Does that mean LSU will go a full spread attack? Doubtful. But it does mean that the quarterbacks will be tasked with making throws they can consistently make, so long as that doesn’t limit the offense.
So this spring, we should start to learn what each quarterback can really do. For LSU’s sake, you’d hope that would include a lot more than it did last season.
The battle will be fun to watch this spring, but winning the spot isn’t the focus right now. It’s development and improvement. And if one or both quarterbacks take a big step forward this spring, then fans can maybe grow a bit more optimistic about the future of LSU’s passing attack.