LSU’s woes in the passing game and at quarterback had an effect on receiver Tyron Johnson’s signing decision Wednesday.
Frank Wilson convinced him to sign anyway.
“Other people were putting other thoughts in my head. I wanted to play in a pro-style offense and some of them had better offenses than LSU,” Johnson said. “It did give me pause, because I’ve got to spend three years there, but coach Frank made me believe that I can help our quarterbacks make good plays.”
Johnson, Louisiana’s No. 1-ranked prospect and the second-best wideout in the nation, became the latest in a string of highly touted receivers to sign with the Tigers — despite an offense built around the run and struggles at QB.
Louisiana receivers Malachi Dupre and Trey Quinn, both top 10s at their positions, inked last year, and Avery Peterson, then the No. 2-ranked wideout, signed in 2013. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. signed in 2011, while Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee exchanged the QB role.
This year, it was Johnson and his good friend, Donte Jackson, a versatile player whom Les Miles said can play receiver, running back, return kicks and punts and play cornerback.
So why are the receivers flocking to Baton Rouge despite the passing woes of last season?
“I think they see the fact that the young quarterbacks are guys that can come to life,” Miles said. “You can see that at times they are very efficient throwers, and you would like to think, as I would, that they will develop and continue to develop through spring.”
Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris are expected to compete for the starting quarterback job this spring, a competition likely to carry into fall practice.
They’ll have a new competitor, too. Justin McMillan, an early enrollee, will join them in the battle. Miles called McMillan a “developmental player,” but also someone that “might” be able to play early.
In an interview with Fox Sports on Wednesday, Miles was asked about the possibility of a quarterback transferring into LSU.
“There’s certainly a potential that could happen,” the coach said before add that he believes Harris and Jennings will improve and are “talented.”
Manny Miles a walk-on?
Miles’ son could walk on to the football program and/or the baseball team.
Manny Miles, the University High quarterback and pitcher, did not sign with a school on Wednesday. Miles is rated as a three-star prospect and the 146th-best athlete in the nation, according to 247Sports.com. The site lists no offers for the pro-style quarterback.
Miles may end up landing at LSU as a walk-on football player and or a baseball player. LSU baseball coaches are expected to evaluate him in the spring. He missed last season with an injury.
LSU has three sets of brothers on their team: the Teuhemas, the Fournettes and the Fergusons. “I like that there are a number of brother teams on our team,” Miles said. ... TE signee Bry’Kiethon Mouton will play fullback as well as tight end, Miles said. FB signee David Ducre can play some running back. ... Miles said recruiting with new defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was entertaining. “I have to be honest: It’s a lot of fun to follow Ed around. He’s got a nice want and effort torepresent the Tigers. He’s from Louisiana, and he couldn’t hide it if he tried.”