Brandon Harris and his family received several death threats following the season-opening loss to Wisconsin, and they really “shook him up,” former LSU quarterback Jamie Howard said Wednesday during a radio interview.
Coach Les Miles said that Harris got at least two threatening tweets immediately after the game against the Badgers on Sept. 3.
"It’s unconscionable that somebody would do that," Miles said at his post-practice news conference on Wednesday.
"I only pray that it’s a person that doesn’t know what he’s saying quite and is meaning it in a pretty mundane and insincere way," Miles said. "Certainly, I think football games are awfully important to football coaches and players and fans that go to the game. But I think if a good ol’ weekly death threat is something that you’re into, then I think maybe you’re making the wrong decisions."
Howard, the Tigers starting quarterback in 1992-95, has spoken to Harris to offer advice to the now-benched former highly touted product out of Bossier City.
“I’ve tried to give him a little (advice) recently,” Howard said on ESPN 104.5 FM’s Culotta & The Prince morning show. “He was having a really hard time getting the death threats. That really shocked him.”
Harris completed 12 of 21 passes in then-No. 5 LSU’s 16-14 loss to the unranked Badgers on Sept. 3 at Lambeau Field. He threw two interceptions, including a game-securing pick on LSU’s final offensive play with 57 seconds left, ruining the Tigers' shot at a game-winning field goal.
Flushed out of the pocket, Harris chunked the ball down field on first-and-15 from the Wisconsin 35-yard line.
A scan of his mentions on Twitter show two threatening tweets sent during or immediately after the game, though, they may not necessarily be considered death threats. Once tells him to kill himself and another tells him to drink bleach. On Sunday, Harris received a tweet from a person threatening to have him killed.
Miles indicated that Harris should report the threats to authorities. A university spokesman, as of Wednesday evening, was working to retrieve any reports of the situation to the LSU Police Department.
A week after the Wisconsin game, Harris began the home opener against Jacksonville State 1-for-4, missing badly on two of his three incompletions and hearing boos rain down on him from a frustrated Tiger Stadium crowd. He was pulled for Danny Etling and has not played since.
“It shook him up when he got the death threats,” Howard said later in the radio interview. “The only advice I’ve given him is, ‘The truth of the matter is everybody’s going to be watching you from the stands, how you handle yourself while you’re on the bench and how you deal with Danny and the coaching staff, but all of those people don’t matter. The only people that matter is what your teammates see. If they need you to go back into the game at some point, they need to be confident in you and see that you’re confident.’"
Danny Etling’s life is changing.
Howard has been there. He received death threats after a six-interception outing in a 1994 game at Auburn.
“It’s hard when you’re going through it, but once you get through it — it takes about a year — you realize it’s not really that people are threatening you, it’s just more of the emotion of college football,” Howard said. “You benefit from it when you get praised so much. Brandon has experienced that too. When you’re on top, everyone thinks you’re the greatest. When you don’t have a good game or a combination of a few games, then you get dumped on. It brought back a lot of memories to me, talking about the death threats. That was scary.”
As Mississippi State slowly — and then very quickly — overcame a 20-point second-half defici…