Les Miles has overseen five noteworthy quarterback battles during his time at LSU. During preseason camp, Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris will compete against each other for a second straight year.
Here are the pros and cons for each QB:
6-2 • 216 • Junior • Marietta, Ga.
EXPERIENCE — You can’t say Jennings doesn’t have enough experience. The guy has been in the program two and a half years and started 12 of 13 games last season.
LEADERSHIP — This is tough to gauge; after all, outsiders aren’t often allowed behind the scenes. But Jennings seems to have more of the leadership skills needed to run an offense.
ACCURACY — Jennings had the lowest completion percentage (48.9) last season for an LSU QB since Marcus Randall in 2002. He routinely missed open receivers.
POCKET PRESENCE — Jennings was sacked 22 times last year. He had trouble feeling pressure. On the flip side, he probably gave up on plays too much too early.
6-3 • 188 • Sophomore • Bossier City, La.
PASS DELIVERY — Harris’ smooth throwing motion coupled with those tight spirals makes his delivery one of the best you’ll see. The whole thing seems like a work of art.
SPEED — Jennings is referred to as a “dual threat,” but Harris is faster and quicker and, unlike Jennings, seems to have better presence in the pocket.
PLAYBOOK KNOWLEDGE — Harris was a mess at times in calling the play and executing. It was clear his knowledge of Cam Cameron’s offense wasn’t great. Will it be better in Year 2?
CONFIDENCE — In Harris’ one start, at Auburn last year, he completed 3 of 14 passes in the Tigers’ worst loss of the Les Miles era. He hasn’t gotten the chance to shake that off.
OTHER QB BATTLES IN THE MILES ERA
2007: Matt Flynn and Ryan Perrilloux
WHO WON — Flynn
BY THE END OF THE SEASON — Perrilloux grew into the role of a short-yardage and goal-line specialist, but it was Flynn who did most of the throwing except when hurt. Perrilloux started the SEC Championship Game against Tennessee, earning MVP honors. But Flynn was back in for the BCS title game.
2008: Andrew Hatch, Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson
WHO WON — Jefferson
BY THE END OF THE SEASON — Jefferson’s triumph was almost by default. Hatch, a walk-on, was injured at South Carolina. He gave way to Lee, who threw seven interceptions for touchdowns, making 2008 the Year of the Pick Six. Jefferson started and played well at Arkansas, then ran and passed the Tigers to victory in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
2011: Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee
WHO WON — Jefferson
BY THE END OF THE SEASON — After a four-game suspension, Jefferson played Week 5 against Kentucky. In Week 9, Jefferson rescued LSU in its epic win at Alabama. After that game, in which Lee threw two interceptions, he attempted five passes the rest of the season. Jefferson started the last five games, leading LSU to the BCS title game — a 21-0 loss to Alabama.
2014: Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris
WHO WON — Jennings
BY THE END OF THE SEASON — Harris had overtaken Jennings, getting his first and only start of the year in a 41-7 loss at Auburn. His stock plummeted. Fans were clamoring for Les Miles to reinsert Harris, but he never did. Jennings averaged 123 passing yards per game.
FOUR FRESHMEN TO WATCH IN CAMP
OG Maea Teuhema
Starting immediately on the offensive line is tough, but Teuhema has as good of a chance as any. After all, he was rated a five-star guy and the No. 1 guard in the nation by at least one recruiting service. He’s 6-4, 325.
RB Derrius Guice
The former Catholic High star made offseason news when he lost consciousness and was transported to a hospital two weeks ago. He’s OK now. Guice isn’t dissimilar from Donte Jackson, a versatile player who could return kicks, receive passes and take handoffs.
DE Arden Key
Of all the freshmen, Key might see the field the quickest. After all, he’s joining a position group that’s searching for two new starters. The four-star prospect from Georgia stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 230 pounds. He’s a long, rangy guy in the mold of Danielle Hunter.
ATH Donte Jackson
Rated a five-star prospect by some, Jackson is the kid who coach Les Miles said on signing day could catch and carry balls, return kicks and punts and be “a lockdown corner.” The Riverdale graduate is a versatile player with sub-4.4 40-yard dash speed.