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LSU quarterback Danny Etling (16) throws a pass during spring practice, Thursday, March 16, 2017, at LSU's practice facility in Baton Rouge, La.

No quarterback in LSU’s starting battle has grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns just yet, but senior Danny Etling moved closer to attaining what many believe he’ll eventually earn — the starting gig.

Etling completed 13 of 17 passes for 216 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions during Thursday’s scrimmage at Tiger Stadium, Orgeron said. Reporters were not allowed in the scrimmage. Orgeron listed only two other quarterbacks' stats. Justin McMillan went 2 for 5, and walk-on Caleb Lewis was 1 for 2. 

Orgeron said last week that no quarterback has “grabbed the bull by the horns” in the competition. Asked about it Thursday, he said, “No. That hasn’t happened. We’re going to sit down at the end of spring talk about it as a staff. We’re not going to get in a hurry. Danny has practiced with the first string most of the time. Nobody has beaten him out yet.”

Orgeron anointed Etling the leader in the competition at the beginning of spring, but the coach and offensive coordinator Matt Canada have kept the position open as they work to identify an offensive scheme — one with a dual-threat QB or one using a pro-style passer. Canada has run multiple offenses manned by both types of quarterbacks.

LSU spent Thursday’s scrimmage predominantly on the passing game, something Orgeron wanted to see before spring break. LSU is off April 7-17 before the final two practices and spring game April 22.

As for identifying an offense, that’s still a work in progress, Orgeron said.

“I really believe (Matt Canada is) running the type of offense he wants to run, especially in the run game,” Orgeron said. “The run game is far ahead of the passing game. We saw today we’re very inconsistent. Consistent at times. We made some big plays but didn’t connect on some of the plays we could have.”

Orgeron mum on Key

Arden Key watched LSU’s scrimmage Thursday inside Tiger Stadium, but Orgeron declined comment when asked about the junior edge rusher.

Key was spotted in LSU’s football operations building in street clothes, traveling from the stadium to the facility. Key has left the team temporarily for “personal reasons,” the school announced in February. He’s expected back in the summer, Orgeron said.

The coach was asked Thursday about Key’s presence at LSU’s football facility.

“No comment,” he said.

Key is a projected first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft. He set LSU’s single-season sack record last year with 12.

Adding to the drama Thursday, Key tweeted for the first time since Feb. 8.

“255 & ready,” the tweet said with a photo of Key. He posted the tweet just minutes after Orgeron’s post-scrimmage news conference.


Orgeron will spend part of his spring break in Lake Charles watching his sons, Parker and Cody, play in McNesse State’s spring game. He'll eat some south Louisiana fare, too. “Go down there eat some boudin, have some crawfish with them and have a blast.” ... Former LSU reserve center Andy Dodd announced Thursday that he will transfer to McNeese. Dodd announced before spring practice that he planned to transfer away from LSU. He has one year of eligibility left.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.