Brandon Harris wasn’t surprised when he learned he would be starting in LSU’s opening game against McNeese State.

That goes for other players, too.

“It wasn’t a huge surprise when coach Miles said it,” receiver Malachi Dupre said Tuesday.

On Monday, Miles named Harris the Tigers’ starting quarterback for the season-opening clash against the Cowboys at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

Harris took the first snaps with the starters throughout preseason practice, and several more signs pointed to the Bossier City native securing the starting job. Reporters and fans weren’t the only ones to notice. Players did, too.

Miles said he told Harris the news Saturday afternoon.

“He wasn’t surprised or anything like that,” said Dupre, a good friend of Harris who also was Anthony Jennings’ roommate until recently. “All summer he was working with us on 7-on-7 (drills) while Anthony was away. It’s not like he’s excited or anything like that. We can’t see any change in his attitude. It’s not like Brandon was excited or Anthony was down. It wasn’t a huge surprise when coach Miles said it.”

Harris has not been made available for interviews this week.

Miles said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference that Jennings could see playing time Saturday, but he wouldn’t guarantee that. Harris will make just the second start of his career and first since his 3-for-14 performance at Auburn last season.

He’s a much different quarterback than that kid, players and coaches say.

Said Dupre: “He feels like all of his hard work has paid off. He’s come along way.”

Clapp, Boutte to start

Will Clapp will start Saturday at left guard and Josh Boutte will start at right guard, Miles said Wednesday in his final media availability before the game against McNeese State. Freshman Maea Teuhema is expected to rotate at left guard, Miles indicated.

Freshman defensive end Isaiah Washington will not play Saturday as he is out with an arm injury, the coach said. Washington should return soon, Miles indicated.

Preparing for ‘explosive’ QB

Like many FCS programs, McNeese is a fallback option for major college transfers. They’ve got one at quarterback.

Daniel Sams, a former Kansas State QB, is a dual-threat passer who was good enough to play in all 13 games at KSU as a sophomore in 2013. The former three-star prospect from Slidell transferred in the spring of 2014 after a move to receiver didn’t go as planned.

LSU is bracing for a guy who should prepare them for dual-threat QBs at Mississippi State the next week (Dak Prescott) and Auburn the week after (Jeremy Johnson).

“He’s a talented quarterback,” Miles said of the 6-2, 207-pound Sams. “Guy with a strong arm, accuracy. Very elusive, explosive foot speed. ... We have similar style of guys in our program, and they have provided the defense with a real quality look.”


DB Jalen Mills’ rehab is “coming along,” the senior tweeted Wednesday. Mills suffered an ankle injury Aug. 16 and then had surgery. He was expected to miss at least six weeks, meaning his earliest return may be for the game against South Carolina on Oct. 10. ... Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will be the only members of the full-time LSU coaching staff in the press box during games, Miles said Wednesday. ... Left tackle Jerald Hawkins suffered an ankle injury during preseason camp, but he’s healthy now, Hawkins said Tuesday. Hawkins missed some practice time over the last couple of weeks with the ankle injury.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter: @DellengerAdv.