ORLANDO, Fla. — LSU is known as DBU, but certainly not QBU.
The Tigers have had elite defenses and talented skill-players, but the quarterback’s one job has been, mostly, to not lose the game. Now coach Les Miles would like someone who can win them some games.
Dwayne Haskins, from Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, has the potential to do just that. The 6-foot-3, 204-pound quarterback is rated the No. 3 pocket passer in the nation, according to ESPN, and his talents will be on display Saturday in the Under Armour All-American Game.
“I like what I see,” said former NFL head coach and current NFL network analyst Steve Mariucci, who is coaching the Black Squad in the game. “He’s got great size and certainly has enough arm, but he’s really a smart guy and confident socially. He can throw with touch. He can throw with velocity. He’s got a chance to be a great one.”
Haskins has been committed to Maryland since May, but the recent firing of head coach Randy Edsall has created some uncertainty. The recruiting vultures are circling, and count the Tigers among them.
Haskins plans to visit LSU in January. He already has taken trips to Florida and Ohio State and plans to visit Texas A&M and Maryland. But before a visit to Baton Rouge is in order, Haskins would like a visit from the big man himself.
“I know that coach Les Miles is supposedly coming to see me,” Haskins said. “We’re going to talk then and finalize a visit, and see what he says about that.”
The conversations between Haskins and the head coaches will make all the difference for the four-star recruit.
“I just need to have the head coaches come to my house and sit down and talk before I make a decision,” Haskins said. “The quarterback and the head coach get the most blame for everything, so I want to make sure that we’re on the same page. That’s the final decision. What will the head coach have to say?”
Haskins has been in communication with Tigers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron even before committing to Maryland. Cameron wants someone who can fit his system, which is a pro-style, play-action offense. Haskins’ recruiting profile fits that mold, but that’s not to say he can’t get outside of the pocket.
“Man, I’m no pocket passer,” Haskins said. “I’m not a dual threat, either. I call myself a true threat. I can hurt you with my legs, my mind, my arm. I’m not going to sit there and get killed, but I’m going to make sure I do my due diligence in the pocket before I try to get out and run. “
Regardless of whether Haskins signs with LSU, the need for a quarterback is there. Miles thought he found his man in Feleipe Franks, but after Franks flipped to Florida, the Tigers were left without a quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class. LSU is once again scrambling.
Haskins can be that guy, and he would be quite the prize.