After two days of wondering where exactly Anthony Jennings was at the start of LSU’s spring practices, we received an answer.
To no one’s real surprise, Jennings won’t be a part of the team in 2016.
The rising senior is set to graduate from the university after this semester and has been granted his release to transfer, the school announced Thursday. Perhaps he will find a landing spot where once again he can compete for a starting job.
That’s the future, which remains unclear. All we have at our disposal is the past. And while there are a few high points when it comes to Jennings’ time in Baton Rouge, La. — the 99-yard drive to lift LSU over Arkansas in 2013, dropping Florida in The Swamp a year later — the overall picture of his Tigers career can’t help but be seen as a disappointment.
A former four-star signee out of Marietta (Ga.) High School, Jennings showed enough promise to give LSU the notion he could be a full-time starter in 2014.
Instead, he could not tap into his potential and was pushed by Brandon Harris, then a true freshman, for the starting job.
Jennings started all but one game in 2014, finishing with just 11 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions to go along with a 123.9 yards per game average through the air.
During that time, Jennings seemed confused as to how to succeed as LSU’s starting quarterback and never truly looked comfortable behind center.
The trend continued for the length of the season, which resulted in an 8-5 record, matching Miles’ lowest win total as the Tigers’ coach.
Furthermore, off the field Jennings could not hold is own either. Last June, he and some of his teammates were arrested and jailed after entering a dwelling.
While that may have hurt the quarterbacks’ reputation, it remained an on-field dilemma.
Jennings’ inability to develop into the quarterback that the LSU coaches deemed he could be represents an unfortunate trend that has continued to hinder the program’s ability to return to national championship contention.
One of Miles’ biggest criticisms has always been the failure to develop quarterbacks, and that’s come as a result of multiple offensive coordinators and the stigma that has been attached to it.
Jennings came and left Death Valley as a potential-laden prospect that shined at times. And he left as a disappointment, a departure that not too many people even acknowledged to its full degree in more than an “I told you so” than anything else.
With LSU seemingly taking a step toward a more evolved offense this coming season, perhaps Jennings will be the last quarterback to come through the program and leave with people shaking their heads.
Harris still offers the Tigers a glimmer of hope … for now, at least.
Harris showed signs of improvement into his second year entrenched as a starter, so naturally, a third year comes with unlimited promise.
With Jennings out of the picture and the attention solely on Harris, perhaps he’ll be the the quarterback that helps to disprove the burden of playing quarterback at LSU.
Tigers fans can only hope that’s the truth.