LSU’s latest coaching decision is finally good news for quarterbacks
LSU football is in the news every day, and the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!
Get ready for Doug Nussmeier
SEC Country sources confirmed on Thursday that LSU will hire former Florida and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier as an offensive analyst, pending NCAA approval. Nussmeier, who has also worked as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State, Washington and Michigan, will not be able to coach players on the field but will be able to advise LSU’s coaches on strategy and techniques off the field.
It’s no secret that LSU has had a quarterback problem for the better part of the last decade. And this offseason, the Tigers have made some questionable decisions when it comes to the quarterback room. Promoting Steve Ensminger to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach drew some concern, given that he hasn’t coached quarterbacks full-time since 2003. As did the addition of Jerry Sullivan as passing game coordinator, as he’s a coach who specializes in receivers, not throwers.
But in Nussmeier, LSU has finally landed a QB expert. Let’s leave aside his Florida tenure for a second. At Washington, Nussmeier helped develop Jake Locker into an All-America quarterback and a top 10 NFL draft pick. At Alabama, Nussmeier crafted A.J. McCarron into a first-team All-American and the third-most efficient quarterback in SEC history behind Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel. And for as poorly as Nussmeier’s tenure at Florida ended, let’s not forget how well it started out, with freshman Will Grier going undefeated while completing 66 percent of his passes.
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Nussmeier isn’t perfect. And there’s no guarantee his presence will turn Myles Brennan or Lowell Narcisse into Locker, McCarron or Grier. But he’s been around some pretty darn good quarterback play over the last decade. If history is any indication, LSU’s quarterback room might have found itself a good mentor.
Elsewhere in coaching news
LSU added an on-the-field coach as well Thursday, hiring Bill Busch as the Tigers’ safeties coach. Prior to LSU, Busch worked as the co-defensive coordinator at Rutgers, and had previously worked at Ohio State, Wisconsin and Utah State, the latter two of which he crossed paths with LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Adding Busch will likely change Corey Raymond’s role from defensive backs coach to cornerbacks coach, though that hasn’t been announced in an official capacity. Busch will take over a stacked unit that features returning starters John Battle and Grant Delpit, as well as talented reserves JaCoby Stevens, Eric Monroe, Todd Harris and potentially senior Ed Paris.
Peep the new schedule
LSU announced its spring football schedule on Thursday, detailing dates for the Tigers’ 15 spring practices, the spring game, the annual coaches’ clinic and pro day. For the sake of brevity, here’s a shortened look at the schedule:
- First day of practice: March 11
- Practice Week 1: March 13, 15 and 17
- Practice Week 2: March 20 and 22
- Spring break: March 23-April 2
- Practice Week 3: April 3, 5 and 7
- Pro day: April 4
- Coaches’ clinic: April 5-6
- Practice Week 4: April 10, 12 and 14
- Practice Week 5: April 17 and 19
- 2018 LSU football spring game: April 21, 5 p.m. CT
Exodus No. 1
Four-star Mississippi defensive lineman McKinnley Jackson, a Class of 2020 prospect, de-committed from LSU on Thursday. Jackson had been committed to LSU since November and ranks as the No. 3 defensive tackle in his class.
Without Jackson, LSU no longer has any players committed for the Class of 2020. That’s no reason to fret, of course. LSU has two years to fill that class out. But it’s always worth noting.
With National Signing Day 2018 still in the rearview mirror, there’s plenty of news and analysis to catch up on. Here, in case you missed any of it, is SEC Country’s take on the day:
- For Ed Orgeron, it’s 2019 or bust
- Pat Surtain Jr. was ‘in tears’ when he called Orgeron to tell him the news
- Don’t blame Coach O for Surtain’s decision
- After whiffing at QB, the Tigers have a few options
Your weekly non-revenue LSU sports preview
We get it. It’s Mardi Gras weekend. Chances are, you won’t be watching many sports the next few days. But if you’re interested, LSU has plenty going on. Here’s a schedule of all things Tigers athletics going on this weekend:
- No. 2 LSU gymnastics travels to Columbia, Mo., to take on the No. 24 Missouri Tigers at 7:30 p.m. CT.
- LSU softball continues opening weekend on Friday with the Tiger Classic, competing against UT Arlington and Southern Miss on Friday and UMass and Syracuse on Saturday. The Tigers defeated Illinois-Chicago 3-0 on Thursday in the season opener.
- Track and field will split its attention Friday with half the team traveling to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa City Classic and the other section going to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational.
- Men’s tennis hosts North Florida on Friday at 5 p.m. CT.
- The men’s basketball team welcomes Ole Miss to the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
- Coming off a close loss to Auburn on Thursday, the women’s basketball team hosts Texas A&M on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
Today in made-up holidays
New Yorkers everywhere rejoice as Feb. 9 is a showcase for two of your most iconic foods.
According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Feb. 9 is National Pizza Day and National Bagel Day. I didn’t grow up in New York, but both of my parents did. So, growing up on pizza and bagels comprised about 50 percent of my diet. Not to mention pizza bagels. Which are delicious.
Perhaps, not coincidentally, we also celebrate National Toothache Day on Feb. 9. Make sure you have a dentist on file.
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