All Danny Etling needs to do is manage the game, LSU coach Ed Orgeron says.
Orgeron discussed his senior quarterback during a spring football teleconference Monday, insisting that the Indiana native remains the obvious leader in the starting competition and should win the job if he's healthy.
"I think when he's healthy, he's going to be hard to beat," Orgeron said.
Etling underwent what Orgeron called "minor" back surgery on April 24, two days after the spring game. Etling battled the back issue during the season last year, and it flared up at the start of spring practice, Orgeron said in an interview last week.
According to the previously released rehabilitation program, Etling should begin throwing in 2-4 weeks.
The quarterback is the clear favorite to win the gig. He started 10 games last season, and he's got loads more experience than the next quarterback. Justin McMillan is the only QB on the roster who's thrown a pass in a college game, and he's thrown one.
Decorated Mississippi quarterback Myles Brennan joins a competition this summer that also includes redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and freshman Lowell Narcisse.
Asked what Etling needs to be this season, Orgeron said, "game manager."
"First of all, reason we opened up (the competition) is we have a new offense. I wanted to give a pro-style quarterback a chance, dual-threat quarterback a chance, give (offensive coordinator) Matt (Canada) a chance to see what these guys can do, an open lane to run the plays he wants to do and feel free to have success," Orgeron said.
"Danny has practiced with the first team. Nobody has beaten him out yet. Guys are very close," the coach continued. "We still haven't seen Myles Brennan. Danny's a guy who can go into the game, manage the game, make the short throws, make the checks, be a leader out there, have great pocket awareness. Those are the things we want him to do. He's also very good at throwing the deep ball."
NATCHITOCHES — Danny Etling played injured for “the whole spring,” but the senior quarterbac…
Orgeron 'loves' possible redshirt proposal
Orgeron is in favor of a potential change to the redshirting rule that would allow a player to participate in four games — at any time in a season — and redshirt that year.
"Love it," he said. "That would be great. You can figure those guys out those (their) first four games. It adds to your roster, adds to your development of your team, add to your rotation."
American Football Coaches Association president Todd Berry said last week that a proposal has been developed that would allow a player to be given redshirt if he's played in four games or less in a season. The proposal would eliminate medical redshirts. Medical redshirts are only approved for players who played in three games or fewer of 30 percent of the snaps during the first half of a season.
Under the current policy, a regular redshirt can only be used on players who have not competed in a single snap.
"This is basketball on grass nowadays," Orgeron said. "You've got some offenses out there trying to run 100 plays. The game is doubled since when we played. The more guys you can play, without burning a year, would be great."
If this rule were instituted last season, players like quarterback Brandon Harris, defensive back Kristian Fulton and lineman Donavaughn Campbell would have an extra year of eligibility. They played in four or fewer games last season.
There has been some talk of giving players an extra year of eligibility, too. Currently, players have five years to play their four seasons of eligibility.
"That would be fine with me," Orgeron said of that potential change. "More you can play, the better. Helps develop your squad. We're mostly three and out with a lot of players. You have to overturn your squad every year. Makes it tough for your team throughout the year. That would help us."
Coaches recommended the change to the NCAA in a January meeting. The governing body would have to approve it next year.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron is “optimistic” that sophomore edge rusher Sci Martin will return from …