Summer Top 50 - No. 26 Anthony Jennings

Coming in at No. 26 on TSD's summer countdown of the top 50 LSU players for 2015 is the Tigers' returning starting quarterback, Anthony Jennings.

Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown hits the first of two returning quarterbacks for LSU at No. 26, junior Anthony Jennings.

REASON FOR OPTIMISM


Jennings (6-2, 216) does have a year of starting experience in the SEC under his belt, even if it was nowhere near a thing of beauty. His predecessor Zach Mettenberger took a full season in the league to adjust as well, giving hope that Jennings will improve upon his sophomore effort. And the same coordinator, Cam Cameron, has mentored both while at LSU.

Then there's the physical aspect. Jennings is more imposing and stronger than his competition at quarterback, Brandon Harris, a little slighter in build. The Marietta, Ga., native appeared more bulked up in spring ball, potentially packing on some more muscle to prepare for a more active role in the run game in 2015.

Off the field Jennings has recently made a knucklehead decision (more on that below), but on it there seems to be something about the way he pulls the strings, or "functions the offense" as Les Miles would say, that has given him the edge over Harris in the past. We'll see if that continues, but until otherwise proven, Miles and Cameron seem to default to preferring Jennings' ability to make the other 10 men in the offense better.

STILL LEFT TO PROVE


Based on his body of work to date, Jennings has almost everything left to prove - and it's the most discussed topic in all of LSU athletics because of the recent program history at the position. With the exception of Mettenberger in 2013, the Tigers have struggled mightily to find a suitable signal caller since the 2007 national title run.

Jennings certainly hasn't separated himself, in a positive direction, from the pack Miles has trotted out these last seven years. Last fall he completed only 48.9 percent of his passes (111-of-227) for 11 touchdowns against seven picks, averaging a meager 123.9 yards/game through the air. The season prior, while playing in nine games, Jennings was 13-of-29 passing for 181 yards, one touchdown and one pick.

So the only thing consistent about Jennings throwing the football has been his inconsistency in hitting receivers, a sub-50% passer his entire career. On top of his on-field growing pains, Jennings heaped onto the pile an arrest several weeks back for unlawful entry in what seems to be a pretty childish scenario. He's currently indefinitely suspended, giving Harris a window this summer to take the reins. Smart money figures Jennings will be back, but he's got some amends to make and hurdles to clear.





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