BATON ROUGE, La. — Though Ed Orgeron has yet to make it official, all signs continue to point to Danny Etling opening the season as LSU’s starting quarterback.
“We’re very close. Haven’t named a starter yet. Believe that’s going to happen next week,” Orgeron said. “We’re going to have a big day of discussion about it [Sunday] with our staff.”
Etling has taken the bulk of snaps with the first unit, and the numbers he compiled in LSU’s final full preseason scrimmage were perfectly acceptable ones — 13-of-22 passing for 168 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception against the Tigers’ own salty defense.
That said, Orgeron also indicated that there’s a solid chance that neither of his freshman quarterbacks will be redshirting this year. Myles Brennan appears to have a leg up in the race to be Etling’s backup, and Lowell Narcisse may end up duking it out with Justin McMillan for the No. 3 spot going into the opener against BYU on Sept. 2.
“With [Myles] and Lowell, they are both going to be great quarterbacks in the future. If they don’t start, hopefully we can play them both this year,” the LSU coach said. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to do that. Obviously, we will have a pecking order with the second [team] and third team going into the season. Both of them have done some great things.”
Narcisse presents LSU with an interesting option
From a long-term strategic perspective, it might make sense to preserve an extra year of eligibility for Narcisse if it turns out Etling and Brennan are the clear-cut No. 1 and No. 2 on the depth chart.
But Narcisse’s skill set is so vastly different from theirs that the Tigers would be wise to consider using him in a role similar to Tim Tebow in his freshman year at Florida. Chris Leak started for the Gators in 2006, but Tebow was frequently used in the red zone, finishing that national championship season with 89 carries for 469 yards and 8 touchdowns.
“If we have Lowell in there, we will do quarterback runs. If we have Myles in there, we’ll drop back and pass,” Orgeron said. “They’re completely different quarterbacks. And in Matt’s offense, you can do both.”