The college football season is getting closer and closer and it’s time to start with the preseason projections. It’s also time to start previewing the LSU Tigers, position by position.
Much like last year’s previews, we’ll look at each position one by one with the exception of special teams. Without further ado, let’s get into the action and start our look into 2017 with the quarterback position.
The biggest player that the Tigers lost in this position was Brandon Harris. After a poor showing in the season opener against the Wisconsin Badgers, he saw extremely limited time on the field after Danny Etling showed his prowess as the quarterback for the Fighting Tigers. That led to Harris transferring to the University of North Carolina to get one more shot at being a quarterback for a Power-Five team.
Much like in 2015, the primary starting quarterback for the Tigers is returning. This time it’s Danny Etling who is the player that is coming back to try and get this team over the proverbial hump.
As mentioned earlier, the former Boilermaker took over for an underperforming Harris in week two and wound up being LSU’s starter the rest of the way. His accuracy was good, but not great when compared to the other QBs in the SEC. However, he got this team to a bigger bowl game against a high profile team like Louisville.
While his performance last season make him look like the obvious starter heading into the season, there’s still questions at quarterback. After the spring game, Etling wound up having surgery on his back and according to head coach Ed Orgeron his road to recovery is going well and looks to be ready come fall camp.
If he isn’t ready by then this will put Matt Canada in an interesting position, but his experience in making OK quarterbacks into better ones. Look at what he did with Nate Peterman in 2016 with 27 TDs and only 7 picks on the year. You’ve got to give the new offensive coordinator a chance to work with his toys.
One of those toys to watch out for if Etling isn’t ready to go when the Tigers take on BYU is Lindsey Scott Jr. The 2015 Warrick Dunn Player of the Year has a lot of positives because of his mobility and could be more of a dual-threat quarterback. While that will undoubtedly make some fans of the Tigers cringe, you’ve got to give him a chance because when you look at the roster no one else really stands out that has spent some time learning this system.
The New Guys:
The two new guys on campus in Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse both look to compete for that starting quarterback job if Etling isn’t ready to go day one of fall camp. With a new offensive coordinator it should be an open competition because they’re all starting to learn the system.
You’ve got to give Myles Brennan the slight edge as he joined the team as an early enrollee back in the spring and has a slight edge in terms of practice reps. When it comes to Lowell Narcisse, his journey is a little bit different after suffering an ACL tear his senior season. This was his second ACL injury since 2015 and that may force LSU’s hand and have him be very limited in fall camp and wind up redshirting someone that many fans of recruiting were interested in seeing what he can do under head coach Ed Orgeron.
If LSU is without Danny Etling for the start of fall camp, there’s not a whole lot to go off of with everyone else. I didn’t even mention Caleb Lewis and Justin McMillan who were primarily on the practice squad last season (McMillan threw one pass according to LSU’s stats). Lindsey Scott Jr. seems to be that guy who will fill the shoes of Etling if his recovery process hits a roadblock in the next few weeks.
However, if Etling is 100% or at least close to it he will be the guy for LSU once again and with a season opener against a team like BYU that has had some recent upsets they will need to make sure that they win this first game.