Myles Brennan spent dozens of weekends on LSU’s campus over the last year.
He would arrive, normally with his father Owen, spend Friday night and Saturday in Baton Rouge, attending football games, meeting with LSU football coaches and grabbing dinner with other players.
Sundays were always the worst. He’d have to go home.
“It doesn’t feel like reality, doesn’t feel like it has hit,” said Brennan, the Tigers’ decorated quarterback signee from the Mississippi coast. “It’s a dream come true to finally be here. It’s not like I’m coming and then having to go back home like every other visit.”
At least 15 LSU signees reported to campus Friday, each of them checking in at the West Campus Apartments. Brennan, one of the more highly recruited and heralded prospects in the class, walked into the complex’s lobby to be met with handshakes, high-fives and bear hugs from offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin was one of just two players who did not report, expected news that coach Ed Orgeron announced several weeks ago. The 330-pound Lafayette native won’t arrive until the end of July, as he completes academic work, Orgeron said.
West Virginia offensive lineman Seth Stewart graduates this week and is expected to join his fellow freshmen next week. Six other signees in the Tigers’ seventh-ranked signing class have been here for months, enrolling in January.
Two of the three major college transfers, tight end Thaddeus Moss and defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko, also moved in and are set to begin classes, they confirmed. Jonathan Giles, a receiver from Texas Tech who committed to transferring to LSU last month, is visiting campus this weekend. All three transfers aren't eligible until the 2018 season.
Brandon Surtain's summer of studio work ended before it ever started.
Everyone else checked in Friday. A busy weekend awaits them before school and team workouts begin Monday. Friday was mostly spent moving into their apartments and picking up their IDs from the student union. A scheduled meeting at the football operations building was supposed to end the day. Academic orientation is Saturday before physicals and equipment fittings happen Sunday.
Strength coach Tommy Moffitt’s infamous conditioning test — 10 110-yard dashes and 16 90-yard sprints — is later next week.
“Man, I’m not going to be tripping on it, but when those 110s come in, you’ve got to work,” said LSU cornerback signee Jontre Kirklin, a former Lutcher standout. “It’s a mind thing.”
The training began months ago for this group of signees. Brennan had a different type of training.
He ate. A lot. And at weird times, most recently downing a steak and two potatoes at 12:30 a.m., his mom said.
“Coach Canada started joking around with me and telling me to set an alarm for 1:30 every morning to get up and eat, but now I usually stay up until 1:30 and eat all the way until that point and then lay down,” Brennan laughed Friday.
The record-setting quarterback out of St. Stanislaus has gained about 12 pounds since the end of his senior season, packing on weight to reach 188. He hopes to be 200 by the start of preseason camp and 210 by the time the season opener against BYU rolls around.
Meanwhile, he’s improved other areas, he said, increasing the zip on his passes through weight room work.
“I’ve hit the weights hard, throwing daily with the guys back home,” said Brennan, who will wear No. 15 at LSU. “Each receiver has said that since the season to now, the velocity they feel on the ball has gotten a lot stronger.”
He’s finally in Baton Rouge, poised to compete for the starting quarterback job that coaches say will be left open for camp. Senior Danny Etling, still recovering from back surgery, is the clear favorite to win a job he handled last season.
“I know what I have to do to take advantage of the chance they’re giving me,” Brennan said. “I’m grateful they recognize that I wasn’t here (in spring), and they’re leaving it open through August. That gives me a good chance, gives all of us a good chance, to show what we have. Just going to take advantage of everything I can.”
This is a good time to be a college baseball fan.