BATON ROUGE, La. — There may have been some hesitation before you mentioned Brandon Harris as LSU’s starting quarterback at different times this spring.
Make no mistake about it: Harris is LSU’s guy.
The rising junior bracing to start his second season as the unquestioned starter behind center is coming off a spring game performance in which he completed 8-of-11 passes for 56 yards and engineered three scoring drives while leading the Purple team.
More importantly, Harris — an admitted tough grader — believes the spring game showed all of the progress both he and his offensive teammates have made from last spring to now, which should translate to a positive result when the season rolls around.
“I think I did a good job,” Harris said after the spring game. “I’m tough grading myself, but I did well. It’s different with a yellow jersey, and I advocated to be in a live scrimmage. I was pleased with where we were coming out of the scrimmage. We made some great strides from last spring to this spring.
“Going into my junior year, we’ve played some important downs, and this was important. We’ve had four scrimmages, and I’ve handled them well. Some may be red zone, some may be game atmosphere, but we’ve had a great spring with more productivity.”
Harris led a new-look LSU offense that thrived off a more balanced attack. That included 36 pass attempts and 36 attempts on the ground.
The results should not come as a surprise given Harris’ enhanced approach in and out of LSU’s offensive huddles, said teammate and running back Leonard Fournette.
Harris has been a regular in the film room and a jolt of confidence in the huddle, as he’s provided the offense with a lot of intangibles this spring.
“Brandon did a tremendous job,” said Fournette, who rushed for a team-high 49 yards on eight carries, including a touchdown.
“He’s still the one helping out the whole offense. He’s breaking down the defense. When we come in, he’s already watching the film. That’s the main thing to start to understand. He’s doing a tremendous job.”
Fournette is not the only one noticing Harris’ new demeanor either.
Coach Les Miles spent much of this spring emphasizing the aerial attack as the Tigers look to improve in that area. It has long been one of the facets of the game that Miles has been criticized for.
Now the coach is confident in his team’s offensive outlook, partly because of the progress his quarterback has made.
Miles called Harris one of the most improved and talented players on the team, and the pieces are place for him to make a major leap this season.
“He’s going into his second summer as the guy running the summer workouts,” Miles said of Harris. “He’s going to make improvements. He’s going to make strides in what will be his second two-a-days as a starter. We’re going to finally go into a season rehearsed, which is really comfortable for him.
“When you got a guy that can throw and whistle it in there pretty good and has the ability to move his feet and extend plays and run and score, those are the pieces you just have to have for a big-time team.”