Though LSU may have found its quarterback of the present and future with Brandon Harris, the Tigers’ quarterback woes have dragged on for a long time.
Makes you wonder if LSU could have ever made something work with one of its former quarterbacks scattered around the country.
Two former Tigers quarterbacks and a former LSU commitment are either penciled in as starters elsewhere or are in the fight to take the first snap for their teams. A fourth is in pro baseball, the tantalizing former prospect of so many LSU fans’ dreams.
Here’s a quick look:
Stephen Rivers: The younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers transferred from LSU to Vanderbilt but found little success there last season. In four games, Rivers completed 25 of 65 passes for 334 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. He has since moved on for his senior year to Northwestern State. He’s battling to be the Demons’ starter next Thursday at home against Southeastern Louisiana.
Hayden Rettig: He left LSU for Rutgers and will be the Scarlet Knights’ starter Sept. 5 against Norfolk State. Rettig got the job by default as fellow quarterback Chris Laviano was suspended at least for the first half of Rutgers’ opener for breaking curfew and being caught with a fake ID. Still, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood reportedly hasn’t committed to Rettig as a long-term starter by any means. This is Rettig’s third college season but his next snap will be his first. He redshirted at LSU in 2013 then had to sit out the 2014 campaign because of the transfer rule.
Gunner Kiel: “Chesty” to his old friend Les Miles, the former Tigers commitment will definitely be the starting quarterback at Cincinnati for former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. Kiel committed to Indiana, then LSU, then signed with Notre Dame, prompting an angry Miles to snarl that Kiel lacked “the chest and the ability to lead a program.” Kiel’s stay in South Bend went nowhere, and after at Notre Dame in 2012 he transferred to Cincinnati in 2013. After sitting out a year, he threw for 3,254 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season with the Bearkats. With Kiel returning for his junior campaign, some are touting Cincy as a dark horse College Football Playoff contender.
Zach Lee: There are LSU fans who still keep a candle burning for Lee, the former commitment/signee who signed with the Tigers in 2010 and briefly made it to campus before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lee said earlier this year that he hadn’t completely turned his back on football, but that was before he made it up for a start with the Dodgers in July. Lee has since been sent back down to the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, but stands a good chance of being called back up to Los Angeles when major league teams expand to 40-man rosters in September. Whatever is in Lee’s future, it looks increasingly unlikely that football ever will be in the mix.