At the time of me writing this the 2022 LSU football season is a little less than seven weeks away. In less than 50 days LSU will be taking on Florida State inside of the Superdome and the Brian Kelly era will have officially begun.
We know who LSU opens 2022 season with, when they open it, and where they’ll open it. But if you’re like me you have no clue who will be under center for the first snap of the 2022 season.
2022 LSU Quarterbacks
|5 Jayden Daniels* (Jr.)||6'3"/185||197/301||2381||10/10||65.4||7.9||710 rushing yards on 138 carries, 6 TDs|
|13 Garrett Nussmeier (Rs. Fresh)||6'2"/190||29/57||329||2/2||50.9||5.8||4 games played in/played essentially the entire Arkanas game|
|14 Walker Howard (Fresh)||6'1"/195||Four-star recruit|
|15 Myles Brennan (5th Year Senior)||6'4"/235||Missed all of 2021 with injury||Threw for 1112 yards 11 TDs/3 Ints in three starts in 2020|
*At Arizona State
At the time of this writing LSU’s got a really deep quarterback room, maybe the deepest in the conference if not the entire country. The Tigers have two guys who have started games (Brennan and Daniels), a redshirt freshman who—but for the opening series—played the entirety of a conference game (Nussmeier against Arkansas), and a true freshman who was a top-five QB prospect nationally and has been on campus since January (Howard). Right now LSU’s QB room has depth, but how deep will the group be come fall camp or by game week of the opener against the Noles?
How Brian Kelly, Mike Denbrock, and Joe Sloan balance this juggling act might be the single biggest question mark in all of college football. If everything works out perfectly, LSU could have its healthiest, deepest quarterback room since 2006 when LSU had Jamarcus Russell, Matt Flynn, and Ryan Perrilloux on the roster.
That being said...Myles Brennan didn’t take his name out of the transfer portal to spend his final year of eligibility sitting on the bench; Jayden Daniels didn’t transfer away from Arizona State, a place he’d been QB1 for the past three seasons, to be a backup; and while I don’t want to speak for Garrett Nussmeier I can’t imagine he’d be psyched to spend his first two years of college not playing, especially when there’s an equally talented—and younger—QB right behind him. But somebody’s gotta win the job, though I suppose LSU could use multiple quarterbacks throughout the 2022 season. Maybe Brennan’s QB1 and Daniels is a change of pace guy? But personally I hate the two-QB system so ideally one of Brennan/Daniels/Nussmeier seizes the job and LSU doesn’t look back.
The quarterbacks that Kelly and Denbrock have had success with historically (think Ian Book or Desmond Ridder) possessed traits that are similar to what Daniels and Nussmeier have: a mobile quarterback that can keep plays alive with his legs or someone you could design runs for. Now that’s not to say the 2022 LSU offense couldn’t work with Brennan at the reigns because I believe they’ll tailor the system to the strengths of the players. If it’s Brennan I doubt they’ll make him run bootlegs or QB keepers; if it’s Nussmeier or Daniels they likely won’t keep them boxed up in the pocket; and the only time I want to see Walker Howard taking live reps is in the biggest of blowouts.
LSU’s got four scholarship quarterbacks and each one—though maybe not Howard at this very moment in time—has a compelling reason to be QB1: Brennan’s the tenured guy who has stuck it out through three different head coaches (remember he was offered by Les Miles and Cam Cameron!) and two season-ending injuries; Daniel’s got the most extensive resumé with 29 starts to his name; Nussmeier is probably the most talented QB on the roster; and Walker Howard is the future.
I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision on who should be the starting quarterback for LSU because I have no idea. I just hope that Brian Kelly and his coaching staff have a plan.