News broke today that Louisiana's Mr. Football and the 2015 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year, Lindsey Scott, finally received his offer from LSU:
Blessed to receive an offer from Louisiana State University pic.twitter.com/mUeVQ72IKl
— Lindsey Scott, Jr. (@_lj18_) January 19, 2016
Undoubtedly, this comes as a response to 4-star signal caller Dwayne Haskins picking the Buckeyes on Monday. Despite prepping right up the road at Zachary High, where he lead his team to the State Championship, the Tigers have been hesitant to offer the 3-star prospect. A former Syracuse commit, Scott recently re-opened his commitment. Shortly thereafter he received an offer from Maryland. Just days before that Rutgers came through with an offer. He's already got this weekend's visits scheduled: Harvard on Friday and Rutgers on Sunday. Cam Cameron is now put in position of trying to secure the final visit of a prospect he's mostly ignored throughout the entire recruiting process. To say recruiting of the QB position has been bungled would be... well... an understatement.
First, let's talk about why Scott was ignored. Primarily, my guess is size. He's listed at 5'11", which means he's probably 5'10". Cam Cameron clearly prefers more prototypical NFL types. The shortest QB LSU offered this season prior to Scott is 6'1.5" Shea Patterson (depending on whether you believe Avery McCall from Dillon, South Carolina has a legitimate offer). Now, size isn't everything, but players like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are the exception, not the rule. Still, in college, there's even more examples of success with short QBs. So let's visit Scott's tape.
The first thing that pops about Scott is how shifty and elusive he is as a runner. He looks like a running back with the ball in his hands, even running with a low pad level. Now, more relevant is the arm. Scott seems to throw with nice anticipation. He does a good job of leading his receivers on slants and midfield routes. There's an entire series of plays labeled "Check Downs" on his highlight tape. I find some of this labeling to be a bit generous. There are multiple times when Scott is scrambling due to a broken down pocket and finding targets underneath. In a sense, I suppose he should get some credit for knowing where his targets are, but I also think broken plays don't really qualify as true "check downs." A check down, from my view, is a QB scanning his reads and taking an underneath route. There are examples of Scott doing the latter as well. Scott's athleticism and mobility allow him to keep plays alive and he does a pretty good job of keeping his head down field and trying to make passing plays work before opting to scramble. However, let's not forget this is a kid that rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last season.
Now the major question mark is his arm strength. Scott's deep balls almost exclusively feature a high, hanging arch, which illustrates he struggles to drive the ball downfield. I also don't see a ton of zip on his other throws. His arm seems adequate but hardly a strength. Beyond his height, I would guess this was the second major strike against his game in Cam Cameron's eyes. LSU wants to feature an Air Coryell vertical passing attack to compliment it's brutal downhill rushing attack and Scott simply isn't an ideal fit for that.
Now, that being said, Lindsey Scott reminds me of a particular player with ties to Cam Cameron: Antwaan Randle El. Look at these Randle El highlights and tell me you can't see a resemblance. Both with diminutive stature, neither with exceptionally strong arms, but both with the ability to scramble to create. LSU runs a far more constrained attack than what Randle El was doing, for all manner of reasons, namely that Randle El was probably Indiana's only hope to win. LSU doesn't need to put the ball in one guy's hands and pray. They typically field a dominant rushing attack and defense... which is enough to win a lot of games.
Now, LSU can still run a more constrained system that highlights Scott's strengths. The question is: do they want to make that paradigm shift? Miles said he'd visit with top spread coaches this offseason. Harris has running ability, though his decision making leaves something to be desired thus far. Top 2017 QB recruit Lowell Narcisse is a phenomenal running threat. Justin McMillan is also athletic and capable of doing damage with his legs. It's at least possible the staff is looking to further emphasizing QB running abilities by implementing some type of downhill spread rushing attack. THAT is the type of offense Lindsey Scott would likely thrive in. The one LSU ran the past three seasons... not so much.
The other big elephant in the room here is whether or not LSU can even convince Scott to sign with them. Scott is a good student and has the grades to get into places like Harvard and Tulane. Recent scuttle had him likely signing with Tulane prior to the LSU offer. How much of that is wanting to be close to home? It's almost certainly a factor. It almost always is. Can LSU make up enough ground in two weeks to secure his pledge? If they've long been his dream school.. it's possible. We've seen players like Russell Gage similarly hold out. That said, Russell Gage probably didn't have offers from other Power 5 schools in hand.
Frankly, not sure what to make of this one. The staff is obviously desperate for a QB body. I like Scott's intelligence and that could be a driving influence in the QB room, but I remain unconvinced his skills fit what LSU wants to do. Even if LSU were to completely tailor an offense to better suit him, I'm not sure he's got high end capability. The other factor is that they may eventually be able to shift him into a role as a WR or RB. But would that scholarship be better used on another DL?
Scott's a nice player, and I'll certainly be following his career, LSU or otherwise.
What do you think? Is Lindsey Scott a take at QB?