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2015 LSU National Signing Day Preview: The Quarterbacks

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What does LSU's QB class look like for 2015?

Student Sports

There's no more hotly debated subject at LSU than the QB position. LSU slugged through another season of porous QB production in 2014, leaving little optimism for the 2015 season. Anthony Jennings finished the season much like he played most of the season: pedestrian. Brandon Harris finished the season much like he played most of the season: not at all. In 2012, Zach Mettenberger struggled through his junior season, but did give us glimmers of hope, with his performance against Alabama and the inconsistent, but sometimes beautiful passes he would make. Last year's QB group didn't produce so much reason for hope.

Rumors continue to surface that any number of graduate transfer QBs may be eying LSU as a potential destination. Names like Braxton Miller and Everett Golson pop in and out of rumor mills, and will likely continue to do so until they make any official decisions about their 2015 futures.

The recruiting of the quarterback position came under intense scrutiny as the season unfolded, and it appeared LSU had no viable options available on their roster. Fans clamored for an instant impact QB, someone from the JUCO ranks that could step onto campus and conceivably take the starting job. Instead, LSU held pat with only one commit, a development prospect from HS.

Agreeing with a strategy and recognizing the thought behind it are two vastly different things. In this case, I think the coaches handled both correctly. A JUCO QB is not the solution to LSU's problems. Developing the immense talent on hand is. In the past, LSU coaches erred not taking a QB in every class. Nabbing a 2014 signee makes Cam Cameron 2 for 2, with a 2016 commit already on tap.

All that said, let's turn our eyes back to 2015 National Signing Day and the QB position.

Commits (Signee)

Justin McMillan

247: ***, #36 Dual Threat QB, #1,444 Nationally
Rivals: **, UR Position, UR Nationally
ESPN: ***, #38 Dual Threat QB, UR Nationally
Scout: ***, #53 Dual Threat QB, UR Nationally

McMillan is an interesting prospect. He's lead his team to back-to-back state titles in 5A Texas football. He's left handed, wiry, and probably not as tall as his claimed 6'1". He plays with a superstar WR that LSU was recruiting, who isn't coming to LSU. He's athletic enough to move around, but hardly a game breaker as a runner. His mechanics are funky, and he often uses his whole body to generate torque on downfield throws. He throws with great touch. He seems to be Mr. Intangibles.

This all adds up to a big developmental prospect. Frankly, that's okay. There's enough raw skills here that you can see why the staff took a chance on him.

Targets

Torrance Gibson

247: ****, #6 Dual Threat QB, #76 Nationally
Rivals: ****, UR Position, UR Nationally
ESPN: *****, #2 Dual Threat QB, #16 Nationally
Scout: ****, #5 Dual Threat QB, #52 Nationally

There's perhaps no more divisive prospect in this recruiting cycle than Torrance Gibson. Evaluators unanimously agree on his immense athletic potential. He's got a big frame, and he's a smooth, natural, easy athlete. The trouble is, Gibson insists on playing QB at the next level. He's currently an Ohio State commit, but visited Auburn last weekend, and will visit LSU this weekend. LSU formerly only extended him an offer as an ATH but reportedly have since amended that to a QB offer.

I don't like Gibson as a QB prospect. He's a terrific athlete, and could probably be an elite level WR, but he's not a QB. A team like Ohio State or Auburn seems like a perfect fit for his skills, but LSU would be foolish to turn down a chance to get an athlete of his caliber on campus. Could they be legitimately interested in him as a QB? Possibly. But my guess is that it's more of a Russell Shepard, "yeah, yeah, we'll give you a shot at QB" type offer.

What to Watch for on Signing Day

Not much. UNLESS, LSU makes a huge splash with Gibson this weekend. Otherwise, all should be pretty quiet on the western front.

The Future

McMillan gives LSU some depth that's a step ahead of guys like Jake Clise and Jared Foster, who are simply walk-on talents. The odds that he's ever the LSU starting QB are fairly slim. Brandon Harris is likely both the present and future. After him, top 100 guys like Feleipe Franks (commit) and Shea Patterson (major target) are coming in 2016.

McMillan is a good addition to the roster, and one that will likely push everyone around him to improve. Les Miles will love and praise his work ethic and character. That said, he's probably a sandwich piece between an elite QB recruit in Brandon Harris, and a pair of elite guys in Feleipe Franks and Shea Patterson.