As he said on his radio show Monday night, LSU football coach Ed Orgeron is going to leave the offensive decisions next season to new offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Included among those decisions is the choice of who will lead the offense as LSU’s next starting quarterback.
“Danny is our starter right now,” Orgeron said. “But that doesn’t mean that the competition won’t be open and the best man may win.”
Matt Canada still is in Pittsburgh right now. He is preparing for a bowl game on Wednesday and will finish out his obligations with the Panthers before transitioning over to the Tigers full time.
And since he hasn’t been in Baton Rouge very much, Canada hasn’t had a lot of time to assess the candidates for quarterback next season. So, in the name of the season of giving, I’ve made a pros-and-cons list for Canada’s top 5 options at quarterback, plus a fun one that maybe he should consider.
The incumbent — Danny Etling
In his first season as LSU’s starting quarterback, Danny Etling did fine, but LSU didn’t achieve everything it wanted to. It’s hard to blame Etling for any of LSU’s shortcomings, but he’s the quarterback, so naturally he will be.
Pros: Low turnover rates, gifted downfield passer, poised, intelligent, experienced
Cons: Holds onto balls too long, won’t win games with his arm, inaccurate at times, lacks top-end speed
Verdict: If you’re looking for a game manager, Etling’s your man. If you’re looking for a game-changer, look elsewhere.
The challenger — Brandon Harris
One game and one quarter into the LSU football team’s 2016 season, Brandon Harris lost his starting job to Etling. In 2015, Harris led LSU to a hot start before fizzling after a loss to Alabama.
Pros: Gifted athlete, can fit in multiple schemes, live arm, quicker than most QBs, starting experience
Cons: Aggressive to a point of turning the ball over, struggles with the deep ball, inconsistent
Verdict: If Harris is put in the right scheme, he has a lot of potential. But with the wrong guidance, we’ve seen Harris can be a mess at times.
The dark horse — Lindsey Scott Jr.
A 5-foot-11, left-handed freshman who took a redshirt in 2016, Scott is mostly known for mimicking Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts in LSU’s practices. But he’s well-regarded inside the team and has a skill set unlike any other Tiger.
Pros: Quick enough to thrive in a zone-read system, intelligent and adaptive, satisfies Orgeron’s search for a “dual-threat” passer
Cons: Young and inexperienced, small for an SEC quarterback, hasn’t built a rapport with LSU’s first-teamers
Verdict: Scott probably needs more time before he’ll start anywhere, but if Canada wants a dual-threat offense, Scott might be his best option.
The golden boy — Myles Brennan
The No. 6 pro-style quarterback, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings, Myles Brennan is a 4-star quarterback recruit coveted by LSU fans and coaches alike.
Pros: Statistically dominant in high school, prototypical height and build, deceptively good runner
Cons: Young and inexperienced, needs to put on weight, will only have two months to learn LSU’s offense
Verdict: Brennan is the type of player who will benefit from a redshirt, but if he shows up in June and is lights out, don’t be shocked to see him compete for the job.
The long shot — Lowell Narcisse
Coming off back-to-back knee surgeries, Lowell Narcisse is set to enroll at LSU early, and hopefully be fully rehabbed by the time spring ball comes around.
Pros: Gifted dual-threat quarterback, will have a full offseason with LSU, great size
Cons: Young and inexperienced, coming off major surgeries, hasn’t played in a year
Verdict: I don’t think Narcisse will be ready. But if he is, the competitor in him might come out.
The fun choice — Donte Jackson
Donte Jackson is a cornerback. He does not play offense. But he’s really, really, really fast. And having him and Derrius Guice run the option together would be extremely fun.
Pros: Is really fast
Cons: Does not know how to play quarterback
Verdict: Nobody but me wants this to happen.
Do you have thoughts? Let me know in the comments section. And I’m sure you’re having a field day with this headline on Facebook. I’ll enjoy reading your opinions.
LSU football poll results
Speaking of your feedback, the verdict is in from the LSU football poll question on Monday.
I asked you a yes or no question on Monday morning: Will the 2016 Citrus Bowl matter heading into 2017?
About 150 of you voted, and the general consensus was yes.
Of those of you who responded, 78 percent said they think success versus Louisville can and will carry over into 2017, versus the 22 percent of you who don’t think the game will affect the squad next year.
Where do I stand on the debate? I’m sort of in the middle. I don’t think the outcome of the game will have much of a bearing on LSU’s productivity next year. But I do think a win against Louisville can do a lot for LSU’s recruiting image in the last month before National Signing Day.
If I had to vote in one of those directions, I would’ve been with the minority. But I think the majority definitely has a point, too.
On the third day of Christmas …
As the famed song goes, Christmas doesn’t last for just one day; it’s 12 days of fun.
So, to commemorate the 12 days of Christmas, I’ll be rewriting the famed song bit by bit, day by day as I celebrate. But, of course, my version will have an LSU football-themed twist.
On the first day of Christmas, LSU football received: A Cajun and an OC
On the second day of Christmas, LSU football received: Two QBs and a Cajun and an OC
So, what will did the Tigers get on the third day of Christmas? They didn’t get three boring old french hens. Instead, I’m giving LSU three French names, specifically LaCouture, Godchaux and Delahoussaye.
What will I give LSU for the fourth day of Christmas? Check back in to the Bayou Bengal Briefing on Wednesday to find out.
The Citrus Bowl is getting nearer and recruiting is picking up every day. In case you missed something, here’s a link dump for all the LSU news you need to know:
- Our Sam Spiegelman caught up with Narcisse and talked to him about being overlooked.
- Running back recruit Clyde Edwards-Helaire reopened his recruitment, only to close it back up.
- What did Ed Orgeron say on his radio show? Check it out here.
- What sources are saying about LSU’s underclassmen, and their chances of returning for their senior years.
- Dave Aranda is about to crank up his defensive creativity. Get pumped.
- LSU is doing everything it can to court linebackers on the recruiting trail.
Return of the coach
Frank Wilson, a former LSU assistant coach and current head coach at Texas-San Antonio, returned to Baton Rouge on Monday to speak with the LSU football team.
Honored to have Coach Frank Wilson spend some time with The Tigers today! pic.twitter.com/wTmR3fLDbW
— Coach Ed Orgeron (@Coach_EdOrgeron) December 27, 2016
It’s no secret that Wilson and Orgeron are close friends, nor is it a secret that Wilson recruited a massive percentage of LSU’s players to Baton Rouge in the first place.
But seeing him back in town must’ve been a bizarre sight. Not quite as bizarre as getting a speech from Les Miles or Cam Cameron, but bizarre nonetheless.
What are the odds: LSU running backs edition
As Orgeron mentioned in his radio show (see above), LSU’s running backs group is looking as deep as ever in practice, even without Leonard Fournette’s presence on the field.
So, let’s play a game of “what are the odds.” The rules are simple: I name an LSU running back, and guess the odds — in percentage form — that that running back will receive at least one carry in the Citrus Bowl. If you disagree, feel free to yell at me.
Derrius Guice: 100 percent
Darrel Williams: 95 percent
Nick Brossette: 50 percent
Lanard Fournette: 10 percent
Leonard Fournette: 0 percent
Donte Jackson: Give up already. LSU isn’t going to play Donte on offense.
This week in made-up holidays
According to the folks over at NationalDayCalendar.com, we’re presently in the second day of “It’s About Time Week.” What’s “It’s About Time Week,” you might be asking yourself. Good question.
Based off this article I found when I Google searched the phrase, “It’s About Time Week” is the week where we hustle to do everything in a given year that we didn’t get done in the first 51 weeks.
Maybe there’s a movie that you’re really itching to see before the year ends. (I suggest these four fantastic options.) Perhaps you want to get into the Pokemon Go craze before it becomes totally lame. (It probably already has.) Or maybe you want to get really involved in politics before the election. (You’re probably out of luck on this one.)
But what if you’re the LSU football team? So much has happened in 2016, what is there possibly left to do before the year ends? Here are some suggestions:
- Find your linebackers of the future
- Recruit a kicker for next season
- Do everything you can to convince Jamal Adams to stay another year
- Sell your soul to achieve the previous goal
- Purchase your soul back so you can sell it again to get Jamal Adams to stay twice
- Get Orgeron an endorsement deal with Monster Energy
- Recruit former Orgeron player Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to be LSU’s spiritual guru
- Teach Donte Jackson to play quarterback
I will never give up on that point. You can’t make me.