LSU quarterback Brandon Harris underwent a surgical procedure for a sports hernia Monday and will miss about six weeks, according to multiple sources.
Harris, the Tigers’ starting quarterback this season, suffered the injury in the game against Alabama on Nov. 7 – a 30-16 loss that started LSU’s three-game losing skid. He is expected to recover from the procedure well before spring practice begins – in early to mid March.
Harris has not been made available for interviews since the Tigers’ seventh game of the year against Florida. School spokesman Michael Bonnette would only confirm that Harris was to have “minor surgery” Monday.
Harris played with the injury for the rest of that game against the Tide and for the final three games of the regular season, noticeably dropping off statistically during that span. The sophomore completed 47 percent of his passes, throwing three touchdowns to five interceptions in the final four regular season games – Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
He completed 58 percent of his passes with no picks and nine touchdowns in the first seven games of the year. He went 14-for-23 for 261 yards, a touchdown and interception, in the Texas Bowl win over Texas Tech, but many of his incompletions were noticeably off the mark.
Harris, his first season as the full-time starter complete, enters spring drills No. 1 on the depth chart and the presumed 2016 starter, but he’ll have competition.
Purdue transfer Danny Etling will “elevate” the QB position, coach Les Miles said a few days ago. Etling sat out this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, but he practiced with the team since his arrival in the summer.
Etling is a former four-star recruit who started the final seven games of his freshman season in 2013 and then the first five games of last season before losing the job. The Boilermakers went 2-10 in those games that Etling started.
In 13 career games, Etling was 238-of-429 (55 percent) for 2,490 yards, 16 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.
LSU currently does not have a quarterback committed in its No. 1-ranked 2016 recruiting class, but Miles said the staff is seeking to sign a QB.
“We certainly are looking at quarterbacks in this class,” the coach said. “It’s very important to the development of our team long term. We’d certainly like to sign a quality quarterback in this class.”
Aranda to be introduced Tuesday
New LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will be introduces at a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the school’s administration building.
Aranda, 39, was hired Friday to be replace Kevin Steele, who left for Auburn a day after the Tigers’ win over Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl. Aranda agreed to a three-year contract that begins with a 2016 salary of $1.3 million, according to FoxSports.com. LSU has not released the contract details.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.