BATON ROUGE, La. — This is Brandon Harris’ third spring at LSU, but this time around it just feels a bit different for the Tigers’ incumbent quarterback — for a number of reasons.
Harris has more game experience at this point in his college career. So do his teammates.
Speaking of his teammates, he has even more weapons at his disposal, including receivers that are both tall and athletic.
And perhaps most interestingly, he has taken advice from multiple NFL quarterbacks that enjoyed successful college careers.
Harris is hoping those factors help lead to a career year in his third at the helm.
“You don’t want to be in a situation where every day is a learning day,” Harris said after Thursday’s practice session, the 11th of the spring.
“I’m nowhere near where I have reached my upside. I find something to get better at — throwing a flat route better or learning the different guys. Going into my third spring, I don’t like every day is a learning day. I just find something to get better on.”
Harris has turned to NFL veterans such as Robert Griffin III, Teddy Bridgewater and his former predecessor, Zach Matternberger, for advice.
Those professionals all enjoyed success during their college careers and made the leap during their junior seasons, which is something Harris hopes to emulate in 2016.
“You’ve got to get obsessed with watching yourself,” Harris said. “When they hit their junior years, how’d they take their stride and be where they wanted to be. They tell me what Cam (Cameron) tells me — watch yourself and get obsessed with watching yourself.
“It’s just about leadership and different things you can do to help. Those guys were lights-out quarterbacks in college. I don’t care what conference they played in … They gave me different tools I can use to implement in my game and make my team better.”
Harris’ experience translated to a successful scrimmage in which the junior completed 16-of-20 passes for 246 yards.
There’s more buzz surrounding an expanded passing attack this spring. Harris said it’s the norm for this time of the year, but he did cite some improved chemistry on offense.
“Often times, we were young in a lot of places,” Harris said. “Now those pieces are starting to play together. Everyone is on the same page. A tight end can make a call to the fullback or (we can) check or the fullback can tell a running back which way he’s going.
“Everyone is starting to play together. We have camaraderie in the group. During the scrimmage, it was good to see our young guys now talking. Last year they were true freshmen, and now they’re acting like veterans.”
Many of those weapons have grown up like Harris, but even the new ones have made their presence felt.
LSU’s new-look wide receiving corps features familiar faces in Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, but recent arrivals such as Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan add some noticeable height and range to the position.
That’s made a difference for Harris and this offense’s early success.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “All those guys, from Malachi all the way down to our freshmen, have all done a good job this spring. Those two guys along with Jazz Ferguson, everywhere you look it’s tall guys, real long, rangy guys. I have a big margin of error and they make some freakish catches. I can put it anywhere in their facility and they can catch it.”