LSU’s quarterback competition is extending to preseason camp.
The battle for the Tigers’ starting job won’t be decided until camp, coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday, though returning starter Danny Etling is the clear favorite.
How long will the battle be open?
“Until we feel like it’s solidified and everybody’s had a fair chance,” Orgeron responded. “We haven’t seen Myles Brennan yet. We told him when we recruited him we would give him a fair chance. Guys are going to get better, so let’s see. Danny’s practiced with the first team most of the time. Unless somebody takes his place, they’re going to have to prove it.”
Brennan, a highly touted pro-style quarterback from Mississippi, will join Etling, redshirt sophomore Justin McMillan, redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and freshman Lowell Narcisse in a starting competition in August that’s Etling’s to lose. The Indiana native enters Saturday night’s spring game at Tiger Stadium having taken a majority of the first-string snaps this spring.
“Nobody’s beaten Danny out yet," Orgeron said Thursday.
Brandon Harris' transfer announcement only increased Etling's shot at keeping the job he took from Harris last season.
Three of the other four quarterbacks who competed this spring have never played in a college football game and a fourth, McMillan, has thrown one pass in a college game. In a news conference after one scrimmage earlier this spring, Orgeron mentioned stats from just three quarterbacks: Etling, McMillan and walk-on Caleb Lewis.
This is the fifth in a seven-part series being published this week ahead of LSU's spring gam…
1 vs. 1
The spring game format is changing — drastically.
The Tigers rarely played starters against starters, but that’s scheduled to happen Saturday night, Orgeron said.
LSU’s No. 1 defense and No. 1 offense will clash. The same goes for the second-string units. The game will consist of four 12-minute quarters. The final two quarters will feature a running clock.
“Best again best,” Orgeron said. “Competition. That’s what we do. I want to see us get after it, see us compete."
Lawrence named starter
At least one open starting position has been filled.
Monroe native and sophomore Rashard Lawrence has solidified a starting spot at defensive end, Orgeron announced Thursday unprompted.
“Rashard is a starter now,” Orgeron said. “He’s solidified that position. Along with being a starter, he’s got a 4.0 GPA. Excited about him.”
Greg Gilmore, at nose tackle, and Christian LaCouture, at the other defensive end, are the other projected starters on the line.
O on NCAA rule change
Orgeron admits times have change with regards to preseason camps. Even before the NCAA’s rule change last week, which ended two-a-day practices altogether, many teams had done away with intense two-a-days with pads.
That’s why the the new rule won’t have an affect on LSU’s practices when fall camp starts in August, Orgeron said.
“The guys are in such good shape anyway that we were running maybe two or three two-a-days,” Orgeron said. “They weren’t like the old two-a-days where you went two-a-day with pads. If you went heavy in the morning, you went light in the afternoon. So we kind of follow that protocol.”
Among several rule changes the NCAA announced last week, teams can only have one three-hour, on-field practice session and a walk-through without pads or helmets during camp. However, the NCAA is allowing fall practices to begin one week earlier this year.
LSU football players went on a shopping spree in December.
‘Guest coaches’ added
One dozen former LSU players will return Saturday to serve as guest coaches for the spring game.
The 12 ex-players will primarily serve as captains. They’ll be recognized at the coin toss Saturday. The list includes Charles Alexander, Odell Beckham, Ben Bordelon, Ryan Clark, Kevin Faulk, Eric Hill, Tommy Hodson, Bradie James, Matt Mauck, Lance Smith, Craig Steltz and Corey Webster.
Donte on offense?
Cornerback Donte Jackson is indeed receiving offensive snaps in practice as one of LSU’s jetsweep players, Orgeron confirmed.
Reporters saw Jackson practicing at that spot earlier this week.
“He’s a guy that we would like to use on offense,” Orgeron said. “We got to see it in camp, see how he can handle it. Very few guys can go both ways, but I think he’s a guy that can. Obviously, his speed is something that we have to use. We have to see how he handles the ball and how he fits in.”