We’re slightly less than a month out from the start of LSU’s spring practice, and between last week’s close to the recruiting cycle, and trying to set up some more of the spring narratives, Ed Orgeron and Steve Ensminger each made recent media appearances, with the latter doing a segment on Jacob Hester’s new Baton Rouge-market radio show, “Hangin’ With Hester,” which airs from 6-8 p.m. CT during the week.
The headline that probably caught most of the attention was the revelation that Myles Brennan will likely take the first-team snaps when practices open on March 11:
“Probably, I’ll be honest with you … During the last three weeks of recruiting we’ve kind of had an opportunity on Mondays and Fridays to meet with our players and everything else and start implementing a little bit of this offense …
”I’ve kind of told him, Myles right now, ‘hey, we’re all in here starters’ and that’s the way it’s gonna go. Yes, Myles will take the first snap of spring practice and all that. But as we get into teams and as we get into scrimmages and everything else. I’ve gotta allow these other kids, Lowell [Narcisse] and Justin [McMillan] to get with the first group and run the reps and everything else. And it’s my job to do a good job of playing to their strengths …
”Hopefully as we put this together when [any of the QBs are] in the ballgame I’m not asking those quarterbacks to do what another quarterback can do, and I can play to his strengths.”
Brennan just spent the last few months working as Danny Etling’s backup, so yeah, if somebody has to take the team reps with the No. 1 offense early on, it’s going to be him. But it’s also very clear that the coaching staff wants this to be a competition between Brennan and Lowell Narcisse. And of course, it’s in their best interests to keep that competition open as long as possible. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if a true “starter” isn’t named until a week or two before the season opener.
Aside from some discussion of Ensminger’s North Louisiana recruiting efforts, there was also this note on five-star freshman Terrace Marshall, who will be on hand for the spring:
“I think he has the talent to do that, no doubt about it. Trying to implement this system, we’re starting out trying to make it easy for our wide receivers. We really are … As wide receivers, I think the key to it is finding out your best five or six is, whatever, and what’s their best position … [those] are the things we’ve got to find out this spring. What we gotta do with each one of these young men to get them open. And once we find that out I believe we can attack it.”
Spread-type offenses lend themselves to easy implementation for young receivers, so if that is indeed the direction Ensminger wants to take LSU, it stands to reason that both Marshall and Ja’Marr Chase will have a chance to hit the ground running.
Orgeron, meanwhile, appeared on WWL 870’s SportsTalk, out of New Orleans, with Deuce McCallister and Deke Bellavia, talking mostly about the recent signing day efforts, including the noteworthy miss on Patrick Surtain Jr.:
“Obviously we missed on Surtain at the end. That’s the only guy that we thought that we really missed on. That hurt us. But we’ll try to find some graduate transfers. I’ve already got some guys that are available. So, we have a plan.”
The full interview is available here. Another big discussion point was the future of recruiting, namely the 2019 class in Louisiana:
“I’ve known all these guys now; I’ve recruited them personally. I feel like we’re in the lead for most of them. Some of them are committed to us ... Our pitch is to all come to LSU and let’s win a championship. Why not us? Let’s stay in our own state. Let’s represent the Louisiana Tigers. I think we’re further ahead in junior recruiting than we’ve ever been. But as we know, it’s going to be a battle. As you know we have to have success on the field.”
As of today, the 247 Sports composite rankings currently lists 12 Louisiana natives in its top-200 prospects for 2019. We’ll have more on this class soon, but it has a chance to be a program-changer for LSU.