LSU fans are well aware that this fall has been a flip flopping mess when it comes to choosing a starting quarterback. Not many colleges are accustomed to utilizing multiple quarterbacks throughout the season, but after the LSU vs NMSU game this fall, Coach Miles saw the need to try Harris out, and LSU saw what he was made of.
Throughout the season, we saw what many believe to be indecisiveness on Coach Miles’ behalf but many interviews with the Mad Hatter reveal it was never indecisiveness, just allowing his two young quarterbacks to learn, grow and battle their way into the starting position.
Sophomore Anthony Jennings and freshman Brandon Harris will be joined by high school senior Justin McMillan in January, which only adds to the competition for the starting slot. Coach Miles isn’t through looking for help though, even if it means turning to Junior Colleges to find a reliable quarterback. “I am not ready to necessarily envision a JUCO quarterback this minute,” Miles said. “But we are looking for the best available…”
The Mad Hatter told reporters that both of his quarterbacks are “Getting better, and, again, Brandon Harris is getting better,” but only after stating that quarterbacks are also relied upon heavily by the 10 players surrounding them on the offense. And that while he likes both Jennings and Harris the starting role is not yet set in stone for either.
According to Coach Miles, the decision to recruit from the JUCO level is a hunt for quarterback maturity rather than just raw skill. “If you have a JUCO guy who has run the show and understands the passing game and can really throw it and will understand what we ask of him, that’s a guy we would consider” said Miles in an interview with 247sports.
Miles reported on the value of an LSU quarterback, especially after Tigers’ fans have made their disappointment clear regarding the struggles that both quarterbacks have faced. Both Jennings and Harris have made mistakes this season that a stronger quarterback would not have made. Harris hasn’t shown his leadership abilities the way LSU needs him to yet, and Miles believes that “The position takes some time, it’s motion, check, read the play.”
A quarterback’s job is not a simple one, but rather an all encompassing position. Jennings was 92-for-192 passing for 1,353 yards before the game against Texas A&M which gave him a quarterback rating of 116.3. Harris on the other hand is 25-of-45 passing for 452 yards, with a rating of 175. Harris had three rushing touchdowns before playing against Texas A&M. Numbers never lie but the staff at LSU has never based decisions on simple numbers when there is more to a player than what’s on paper.
Despite hateful remarks, loads of judgement, and a struggle for the starting position, both Harris and Jennings have shown great maturity in handling their first full season at LSU. The fight has been a difficult one but the tigers have two pretty great guys to rely on. It may not have been the best season in Death Valley, but quarterbacks know better than most that tomorrow is another day and there is no where to go but up.
So who do you prefer? Jennings or Harris? Leave a comment and let me know! Geaux fighting tigers!