NEW ORLEANS — LSU’s season-opening loss to Wisconsin sparked another quarterback controversy in Baton Rouge.
Preceding LSU’s home opener against Jacksonville State on Sept. 10, questions abounded: Should the team stick with Brandon Harris? Did backup Danny Etling deserve a chance? Or should LSU cut ties with Les Miles and implement a new offense?
Myles Brennan heard them all.
On Sept. 16, Brennan — LSU’s 3-star quarterback commit from Bay Saint Louis, Miss. — completed 28 of 32 passes for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns. That performance moved the meter to 12,801 yards in his high school career, vaulting him into first place in the Mississippi high school football record books, ahead of another St. Stanislaus High School legend, Dylan Favre, Brett Favre’s nephew.
The always-smooth, never-rattled quarterback is more than just cool in the pocket and wise in his decision-making. He’s always aware of his surroundings and is able to provide context in every move.
Brennan’s success contrasted with LSU’s lament, leading to a bevy of responses from the Tigers fan base. Much of the displeasure, many of the rants and pleas, were directed at Brennan.
“My Twitter blew up after that game (against Wisconsin),” Brennan told SEC Country after St. Stanislaus visited Brother Martin High School on Sept. 9 in New Orleans.
“I told the fans to stay positive, but that’s not the easiest thing to do because LSU fans are LSU fans, and it is what it is. But I’m staying positive. I just reinforced my commitment and promised them that on my first day on campus I’ll do my best to help LSU out. After all, my main goal is to help win a national championship.”
That goal was etched on April 23 during an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge. Brennan and his parents, both Louisiana natives, met for hours with Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. When those conversations were over, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound passer’s mind was made.
He wanted to be a Tiger. He wanted all of the pressure that comes with playing quarterback for LSU.
Perhaps Brennan didn’t anticipate that Harris would sputter at the outset this fall or that there would be a quarterback competition that led to Etling’s emergence in Week 2. Then again, he realizes it’s not easy to predict the future.
Last year, Brennan was preparing to visit LSU — as a fan — to watch the Tigers host Florida. As then-LSU kicker Trent Domingue rushed for a game-winning touchdown on a fake field-goal attempt, Brennan realized he wanted to join this fraternity.
He didn’t realize that a year later he’d be one of the centerpieces of the 2017 recruiting class. Nor did he imagine that his Friday night performances would be under such surveillance.
Brennan’s St. Stanislaus squad was in Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans on Sept. 9, when the LSU commit completed 19 of 35 passes for 246 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown in the second quarter. After taking in LSU’s home opener against Jacksonville State, a 34-13 victory, Brennan returned to the Magnolia State 126 yards shy of breaking the Mississippi career record.
Brennan shattered Favre’s record, and then some. His 300-plus-yard passing performance and 5 scores all came before the fourth quarter. Through the first five games of his senior campaign, Brennan has amassed 1,279 yards and 13 passing touchdowns.
It’s a welcomed accomplishment but not the ultimate goal.
“It’s huge,” Brennan said. “It’s a great honor, a great accomplishment to have in my high school career, but records aren’t the end-all be-all. It’s a state championship this year and a national championship to come. It came and it’s an exciting time, especially when you think about all of the hard work that has been put in. But I can’t stop there. It’s just a springboard here to the playoffs and eventually a gold trophy.”
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) September 10, 2016
So, when LSU’s offense came under fire against Wisconsin, Brennan cautioned fans to be patient. And when Etling replaced Harris on Sept. 10 in the second quarter, Brennan simply grinned, amused at the change he knew was coming.
Whether Brennan admits it, he represents a main component of LSU’s future. He understands the history at quarterback there and the drama that follows. It’s arguably the most-scrutinized position in the SEC — and all of football — and there may not be a more poised prospect ready to fill those shoes.
He’s waiting for his moment, patiently as expected, and welcoming the pressure.
“I know that last year they suffered when Feleipe (Franks) de-committed in the last minute, so it does excite me,” Brennan said of the pressure. “Obviously, the pressure is on, but I can’t let it get to me. It’s just a football game.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.