Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
Despite having freshman quarterbacks Lowell Narcisse (left) and Myles Brennan (right), LSU is in the market for more signal callers.

LSU football: Are the Tigers recruiting too many QBs? Is there such a thing?

Nick Suss

Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football, with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we discuss the wild world of quarterbacks, preview a big week in baseball, pander to the latest trends and much more. Enjoy!

Passers and patterns

The big LSU football news Wednesday revolved around recruiting, particularly quarterbacks. As SEC Country’s LSU recruiting guru Sam Spiegelman reported, the Tigers are making a push to secure a commitment from Louisiana’s top 2018 passer, Justin Rogers, and offered a scholarship Wednesday to the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation for 2019, Michael Johnson Jr.

It should come as no shock that LSU is in the market for quarterbacks. Most teams try to bring in at least one passer per recruiting class, and most teams haven’t dealt with LSU’s recent inability to keep a quarterback for four seasons. But the Tigers did secure two quarterbacks for the Class of 2017 in Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan. And recruiting more quarterbacks exacerbates an interesting problem the Tigers are already confronting.

Quarterback recruiting is an arms race. Pun intended. And there are benefits to stockpiling passers, namely having trusted depth at the most scrutinized and pressure-packed position on the field. But the unintended result of this stockpiling is how quarterback transfer rates have skyrocketed in the last decade. As Fox Sports’ Stewart Mandel wrote back in January, 50 percent of all top-50 quarterbacks between 2011 and 2014 transferred from the school that originally signed them. Per Mandel, that’s a 173 percent increase over a 15-year span.

Statistically speaking, there’s about a 50 percent chance that Brennan or Narcisse will transfer, independent of one another. But let’s look even deeper. Both Brennan and Narcisse were top 25 quarterback prospects in 2017. From 2011-14, the years of Mandel’s study, five teams signed multiple top-25 QBs in a class. Here’s how those classes worked out:

Team QB1 QB2
2011 Florida Jeff Driskel (transferred) Jacoby Brissett (transferred)
2011 USC Cody Kessler (graduated) Max Wittek (transferred)
2011 Ohio State Braxton Miller (changed position) Cardale Jones (graduated)
2012 Florida State Jameis Winston (graduated) Sean Maguire (graduated)
2013 Texas A&M Kenny Hill (transferred) Kohl Stewart (went to MLB)

Obviously, Ohio State and Florida State aren’t complaining about those classes. Jameis Winston and Cardale Jones won their teams national championship games. On the flip side, there are the Florida and Texas A&M classes, which were essentially meaningless because of transfers and players going unsigned.

In the middle there’s USC, a school that did what was expected and kept the better quarterback while the other transferred to a smaller school.

Still, these numbers support the bigger issue in quarterback recruiting. Of these 10 quarterbacks, only three finished as starting quarterbacks at the school where they began. Sure, Winston and Jones won championships and Kessler played his way into the NFL. But that’s a 30 percent success rate for teams that brought in 8 percent of the nation’s top quarterback recruits for a given year.

And that’s the best-case scenario for Brennan and Narcisse. If one of those guys turns out to be Winston, not a soul will complain that the other flamed out. But in order for one to succeed, the other will have to flame out.

That’s not even mentioning the fates of Lindsey Scott, the QB to come in the year before these guys, or Rogers or any Class of 2018 guy who might sit and wait behind a Brennan or a Narcisse.

All I’m saying is that quarterbacks are fickle. They’re the most sought-after commodity in sport, but they’re the most abundantly available, because just about half of them end up as free agents at one point or another.

Obligatory Leonard Fournette section

Former LSU football running back Leonard Fournette officially signed his contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday. Fournette was the fourth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, making him the first running back off the board and the highest-picked LSU running back since Jerry Stovall in 1963.

According to the NFL’s rookie pay scale, Fournette should be set to make a little more than $27 million over the next four years with a team option for a fifth season. That’s worth $5 million more than former LSU safety Jamal Adams’ rookie contract, and Adams was picked just two spots after Fournette.

Still, both guys are set to make a ton of money. And based on their three years in college, they earned it.

In LSU baseball news

The LSU baseball team faces off against Mississippi State on Thursday night in the opener of a three-game set in Starkville, Miss., that will likely decide the winner of the SEC West. LSU has a one-game advantage over Mississippi State in the standings and can lock up the SEC West by taking two games out of three.

Thursday’s game will begin at 6 p.m. CT and be broadcast on the SEC Network and WatchESPN.

This series will have a little added intrigue because Mississippi State’s head coach, Andy Cannizaro, worked for LSU as recently as last fall. For more on that situation, I suggest you read my article from Wednesday by clicking right here.

In even smaller sports news

The LSU men’s golf team won its first NCAA regional in school history Wednesday, beating Duke by 8 strokes to defend its home turf.

LSU junior standout Sam Burns won individual honors at the tournament, shooting 4-under par over three days. Burns was one of just two competitors across 14 teams to finish below par for the week. LSU had two other competitors, Luis Gagne and Eric Ricard, finish among the top 10 individuals. Gagne finished in a tie for third place at even-par, and Ricard shot 3-over, finishing tied for seventh.

With the regional victory, LSU qualifies for the NCAA Championships, to be held May 26-31 in Sugar Grove, Ill. LSU last won a national championship in men’s golf in 2015.

ICYMI

What? There’s even more news? Heck yeah there is! Here are links you might’ve forgotten to click on Wednesday:

Shamelessly pandering to the youth demographic

I am neither hip nor trendy. But over the past couple of days, I’ve seen a bunch of people tweeting about rompers. So, here’s one of those tweets to make the Briefing seem a little bit cooler.

Apparently, D.J. Chark is interested in getting a romper. Fellow wide receiver Derrick Dillon supports Chark’s fashion sense.

So, just to prove he isn’t bluffing, Chark responded.

If I see a picture of Chark wearing a romper, I will pass it along. Until then, I’ll continue trying to understand why this is a trend people are talking about.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Thursday is “National Visit Your Relatives Day.” I for one wouldn’t have pegged a Thursday in May as a great travel day, but by rule we have to celebrate every made-up holiday there is.

So, if your relatives live nearby, pop in and say hello on Thursday. If they live far away, rent yourself a camper and surprise them. Or, better yet, organize an impromptu family reunion. Just try to make sure that it goes better than this family reunion.

Got the sitcom reference for today out of the way.

Anyway, family is good. And that’s not a hot take. If you have the ability to visit yours today (I do not), cherish it. Make up for my inability to. You’ll thank yourself later.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.