BATON ROUGE, La. — As expected, senior Danny Etling will open the 2017 season as LSU’s starting quarterback.
Tigers coach Ed Orgeron named Etling the starter against BYU on Sept. 2 and informed the media of his decision Tuesday.
“I wanted the team to know two weeks ahead who’s the quarterback,” Orgeron said. “It’s important that the quarterback knows the coach and the coordinator believe in him.”
Etling beat out freshman Myles Brennan for the job. Orgeron described Brennan as “a very close second.”
“Consistency, knowing the offense, being around the team day in and day out. He was prepared,” Orgeron said of what impressed him about Etling. “The competition helped him get better. He’s throwing better since his [back] operation.”
Etling started 10 games for LSU last season, going 7-3 as a starter. He had back surgery following LSU’s spring game, but came out firing in training camp.
Orgeron is still very high on Brennan as a backup, however.
“The competition was very close,” Orgeron said. “We knew [Brennan] was going to be a good player. There were some things he did beyond my expectations, but he’s still a freshman. It takes a while to get used to that big stage. The first scrimmage he was a little nervous in Tiger Stadium. [Last] Saturday he threw some outstanding balls.”
Orgeron placed freshman Lowell Narcisse at third place in the competition, but says the future is bright for both LSU freshmen quarterbacks. He also doesn’t want to inhibit that growth by playing either before they are ready.
“We want Myles and Lowell to grow at their own pace,” Orgeron said. “We don’t want to rush them.”
That said, if Etling is injured at any point this season, Orgeron is comfortable with the offense is Brennan’s hands.
“We hope Danny has a great year,” Orgeron said. “But if something happened, we feel one of those guys will be ready to play.”
He also said that the competition will not carry over into the season — Etling is LSU’s starting quarterback.
“Danny’s our starter,” Orgeron said. “We expect Danny to do well.”