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LSU Football 2016 Position Previews: Quarterback

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Oh, whatever will we say about this position?

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl - LSU v Texas Tech Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

If I had to guess, we have probably had at least one article about this topic in every month within the calendar year of 2016. It is the single most-discussed topic surrounding anything with this team.

Rather than rehashing the whole topic, I figured we’d be better off just linking to every single one. Every single one. Which I am linking to in these sentences. Which I am now just writing to make links.

Honestly, there really is only one thing left to say to Brandon Harris.

PLAY

BETTER

That’s it. All there is. We can talk about offenses changing, and spread formations and all of that. For one, LSU has been moving in that direction, because formations are just that. But the guts of this offense aren’t going to change. Running the football and play-action. Because this guy.

No matter what kind of passing game LSU has this season, it will not be Leonard Fournette. And that’s fine, the passing game just needs to work better.

If that happens, mark my words, nobody will be complaining about the style of LSU’s offense.

So what kind of passing game will LSU have exactly? The word I hear most from sources in Football Ops is “optimistic.” There isn’t the “we got this” confidence you heard in 2013 with Mettenberger, Landry, Beckham & Co., but there’s a sense that Harris is ready to take a step forward. Danny Etling has done exactly what the staff has hoped in terms of pushing Harris to do the little things better. And there is very much a sense that if Harris doesn’t perform when the lights come on, Etling is an alternative.

Is Harris going to push for All-Conference honors or anything like that? No. But meaningful progress, coupled with more consistency from his targets can give LSU enough to meet their goals this season.

Roster/Depth Chart

Name

Height/Weight

2015 Season

6 Brandon Harris (Jr.)

6-3, 218

Completed 148-of-276 passes (53.6%) for 2,158 yards (7.8 YPA) with 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Rushed for 327 yards on 54 non-sack carries (6.1 ypc – 226 yards/3.4 ypc sacks included) with 4 touchdowns.

16 Danny Etling (Jr.)

6-1, 215

Redshirted after transferring from Purdue.

14 Lindsey Scott (Fr.)

5-11, 210

Three-star recruit.

12 Justin McMillian (RS-Fr.)

6-2, 196

Redshirted.

If there’s something of a surprise, it’s that true freshman Lindsey Scott has already jumped Justin McMillian. Scott has, I’m told, been everything they expected as a leader, absorbed the playbook well and worked very hard in the summer. I would still imagine he’s in for a redshirt year, with eyes towards competing for the starting job in 2018.

Possible X-Factor: Danny Etling

The Purdue transfer offers LSU more of an alternative as a backup, compared to Anthony Jennings. He has starting experience in a Power-5 conference, albeit not particularly good experience, and has made a strong impression with teammates in the locker room and in the quarterback room. His skillset and quickness also matches Harris’, which could ease any possible transition, whether due to injury or ineffective play.