Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger has a point about LSU's history of putting quarterbacks into the NFL. But is it a good point?

A closer look at LSU’s misleading — but somehow accurate — claim to ‘QBU’

Nick Suss

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OK, let’s be reasonable

LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger inadvertently went viral on Tuesday, thanks to a tweet that seemed to inspire as much parody as it did confidence in LSU’s offensive prowess.

That’s right. Ensminger took to Twitter to point out that LSU is the only SEC school to have seven quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft over the last 20 years. Which is factually accurate. Among schools in the SEC, Georgia has the next most with five.

Where Ensminger is drawing criticism, and rightfully so, is when looking at the list of names LSU put into the NFL. Discounting Danny Etling, who was drafted less than a month ago, the six remaining Tigers drafted this century have combined to start 43 games and averaged 134 completions for their careers. Josh Booty never played an NFL down, Rohan Davey never started a game, Matt Mauck and Zach Mettenberger flamed out after one and two respective seasons, Matt Flynn survived as a journeyman backup and JaMarcus Russell is considered one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.

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Still, from a sheer numerical perspective, LSU has a bizarre claim to being in the conversation for QBU of the 21st century. No one looks at the school that produced Mauck or Davey as a stalwart of quarterback production. But, since the year 2000, only one Power 5 school has had more passers drafted than LSU.

School QBs Drafted Since 2000
USC 8
LSU 7
Louisville 6
UGA 5
Michigan 5
Ohio State 5
Oregon 5

USC is the easy winner of this argument. Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez and Sam Darnold were all selected early in the first round, while the likes of Cody Kessler, Matt Cassel, Matt Barkley and John David Booty kept the middle rounds warm. But LSU’s not-so-prolific passers trail close behind.

Is producing a series of busts good news for LSU? Not exactly. But if you’re looking to sell a professional future to recruits, LSU has done a better job of putting QBs in the league than all other SEC schools in the average high school player’s lifetime. Forget the results. Those guys received their paychecks. And as cynical as it sounds, that reflects well on the school.

LSU gets you to the NFL. Whether you’re a quarterback or a running back or a wide receiver or an offensive lineman or a defensive lineman or a linebacker or a defensive back. LSU stocks the NFL. That’s the optimistic read of Ensminger’s tweet.

That said: If you want to roast him for it, go ahead. It’s kind of funny to see a team brag about putting Booty and Russell in the NFL. Hard not to admit that.

Speaking of quarterbacks …

The saga of Joe Burrow continues. After visiting Baton Rouge over the weekend, the Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback is still dominating the LSU news cycle deep into the workweek. Here’s the latest on Burrow:

In Coach O news

Michael Casagrande of AL.com posted a story about LSU football coach Ed Orgeron on Tuesday, and it was full of some of the least surprising stuff you’ll ever read. Former LSU players such as Etling, DJ Chark and Will Clapp detailed some of Orgeron’s crazier antics, including punching himself in the face before games.

For regular readers of SEC Country, this shouldn’t be too shocking. Orgeron disciples from his Ole Miss days recounted the coach’s bizarre gameday behaviors to SEC Country back in October of 2016, describing him as “the hog reincarnated.” Coach O is a wild one. There’s no denying that.

ICYMI

Were you sleeping under a rock Tuesday? If you were, don’t sweat it. Here’s the top LSU news you might’ve missed:

In LSU baseball news

The LSU baseball team won its home finale on Tuesday, defeating Northwestern State 9-5. Senior Austin Bain led the Tigers, driving in 2 runs and earning a four-out save in the latest showcase of his two-way talents.

LSU will round out its regular season in a three-game series at rival Auburn beginning on Thursday. The game Thursday will be televised on ESPNU.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, May 16 is National Love a Tree Day. So, your assignment is simple: Pick a tree and love it.

Any tree will do. Trees don’t discriminate. They just want love like the rest of us. You don’t have to hug it. It doesn’t have to be a romantic love. But I don’t think the trees of Louisiana would mind some respectful love, even if just for a day.

Who knows? Maybe your love will sprout into something more. Pun intended.

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