BATON ROUGE, La. — A hire has been made.
Matt Canada is officially LSU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Even though he won’t join the team until after the Citrus Bowl, now is the time he starts recruiting.
Quarterback has long been a polarizing topic in terms of LSU recruiting, and that’s the case again in the fourth quarter of the 2017 recruiting cycle. Myles Brennan, 4-star pro-style passer, remains committed but is exploring his other available options. Lowell Narcisse, 4-star dual-threat quarterback,
Lowell Narcisse, 4-star dual-threat quarterback, de-committed on Monday but continues to maintain that LSU is one of three finalists.
Canada has been tabbed by Ed Orgeron to be his coordinator, but before he calls a play for the Tigers he’ll be calling both Narcisse and Brennan at some point this week.
“I’m excited to get on the phone with the young men that are committed to us, to get on the phone with the young men considering coming to play at this great place and tell them what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it,” Canada said Wednesday at his introductory press conference.
Consider a detailed offensive plan as a critical first step for Canada and LSU’s attempt to lure not one, but two high-profile quarterbacks to Baton Rouge in its 2017 recruiting class.
Narcisse, will be announcing his commitment at the Under Armour All-America Game in a mere 18 days, plans on watching Canada’s offenses at both Pitt and N.C. State this week, he told SEC Country.
Narcisse, Louisiana’s top-rated quarterback, is an early enrollee and cannot speak to Canada face-to-face during the NCAA’s Dead Period. He can, however, talk to Canada, Orgeron and other LSU coaches via Facetime, Skype and Twitter to discuss his system.
That’s the plan, too. Canada will reach out to Narcisse in the very near future, according to a source. He will also be in touch with Brennan, whose coach spoke to SEC Country on Wednesday.
“Myles and I are going to sit down and watch some more film just to get him involved in talking about this coordinator and coach, and watch the tape so he has a better opinion of who Matt Canada is,” St. Stanislaus (Miss.) coach Bill Conides told SEC Country. “From a coaching standpoint, schematically, he’s a perfect fit for Myles.”
Part of the reason both Narcisse and Brennan backed away from their firm commitments to LSU was an unclear plan for the offense Orgeron wanted to install.
With Canada, it’s quite clear — and more importantly, adaptable.
LSU’s next offense will not revolve around only a pro-style quarterback or only a dual-threat quarterback. The team wants the best quarterback, period, which is why Orgeron felt Canada was the man for the job.
“We’re going to continue to recruit the quarterbacks we’ve been recruiting,” Orgeron told SEC Country. “We like the guys we have and hopefully we’ll have them become Tigers. He (Canada) gives us the flexibility to play the best players. We can play with pro-style quarterbacks, with dual-threat quarterbacks, and that’s what I liked about him in his interview.”
Brennan will officially visit in January when he can sit down with Canada face-to-face and discuss his offense in-depth. Narcisse does not have that option as an early enrollee, but Canada can likely impart his message through multiple forms of contact over the next two weeks.
Canada referenced his 2016 Pitt offense under pro-style passer Nate Peterson as a unit that set school records and his 2014-15 N.C. State offense under dual-threat quarterback Jacoby Brissett as examples of how his system works despite differing skill-sets under center.
That has resonated well with the Brennan camp, so much so that one source told SEC Country that “he’s going to be a Tiger.” There is still some more pieces that have to fall with Narcisse, whose coach indicated to SEC Country that he believes Narcisse’s talented would be maximized in Canada’s scheme, too.
LSU has a chance to not only lock up Brennan, but also keep Narcisse in-state before he finalizes his decision. The latter remains a top priority for the LSU staff at this juncture in the recruiting cycle.
If that is, in fact, the case, Orgeron may have struck gold with his creative offensive coordinator hire this week.
“Guys are going to like his success,” Orgeron said, “especially recruiting quarterbacks. They’re going to see the style of offense we run, see how many points we’re going to put up and yards we’re going to gain. I’m sure he’s going to attract all the recruits.”
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