ORLANDO, Fla. — LSU quarterback Danny Etling received a text message on Christmas Eve: “Merry Christmas,” it said.
It was from LSU’s newly hired offensive coordinator, Matt Canada.
“I told him good luck on his bowl game,” Etling said Wednesday from LSU’s team hotel.
Canada, hired away from Pittsburgh, is scheduled to begin with LSU on Sunday, a day after the 19th-ranked Tigers (7-4) meet No. 15 Louisville (9-3) in the Citrus Bowl. Canada is not expected to join the team in Orlando, but he’ll be waiting for Etling in Baton Rouge, the quarterback said.
The two haven’t yet held a face-to-face meeting. They have a lot to talk about.
“Hopefully he’ll be back on (Jan. 1), and I can get in there and watch some film with him and talk to him, hash some things out,” Etling said.
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The junior from Indiana was hoping to watch some of Pitt’s bowl game Wednesday afternoon. The Tigers’ practice overlapped with the Panthers’ 31-24 loss to Northwestern in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York.
Etling already knows plenty about Canada, also an Indiana native. The coach recruited Etling during his one-year stay as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator in 2012, and Etling says he watched two of Pitt’s games live this year, against Penn State and Clemson.
Coach Ed Orgeron said Monday on his radio show that he expects Canada to hold an open quarterback competition in the spring. The Tigers return two rising seniors who will have combined for 25 starts, Etling and Brandon Harris. Also in the mix are rising redshirt sophomore Justin McMillan, rising redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and incoming rookie Lowell Narcisse, who will enroll in January.
LSU's other quarterback commitment, Myles Brennan, won't arrive on campus until the summer.
“It’s a competition. It’s the same way I approached it every place I’ve been,” Etling said. “At Purdue my freshman year, it was a competition. (The) next year was a competition. Came here, sat out a year and then (the) next year was a competition. What’s one more competition added to a college career? I’ll be ready for it, focused on getting myself better.”
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