For the past two seasons, the quarterback situation in Baton Rouge has been all but great. At most, it has been a shaky process that has seen one quarterback transfer from the program, one that was benched in the second game of 2016, and one that came in and played his heart out, with mixed results. Throughout the past two seasons, the Tigers have been awaiting for their new quarterback recruits to step on campus and take the spotlight. As the off-season rolls on, we will look to evaluate every position for the Tigers from last season and look ahead. Today, we will evaluate the utmost position in the game, the quarterbacks.
For starters, LSU has been dealing with a dubious quarterback system for years. Even when Zach Mettenberger was there playing, the Tigers had no signs of a dominant QB that could come in and claim the throne and lead the team to a national championship. Once Brandon Harris took over in 2015, everyone thought he was the one that LSU had been waiting for. That is exactly where they were wrong. Harris showed signs of inconsistency, and those signs transitioned into 2016, and he was benched in the second game of the season.
So in steps Danny Etling, the junior transfer from Purdue. Etling played a solid season in 2016, and is looking to once again be the starter for 2017. For Etling to win the job, he will have to beat out Harris and the two new top-rated quarterbacks for the Tigers. If he can accomplish that feat, then he deserves to be the starter.
Just how will the situation play out? Let’s take a look at the starters from last season and the newbies on campus.
Etling finished 2016 with 160 completions out of 269 attempts with 2,123 yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Etling played his heart out for the Tigers and did the best he could to get LSU to a quality bowl game. In 2017, Etling will have a tough hill to climb to win the starting job. If he can lead the Tigers to a good season, he will leave LSU as one of the better players for next season.
Harris only played two games last season.. all year. The opener against the Wisconsin Badgers in Green Bay and part of the game against FCS opponent Jacksonville State. He was in the second game and hardly saw any playing time after that. For Harris to be the starter in 2017, he will have to work with new offensive coordinator Matt Canada and improve his mechanics and prove his worth.
Brennan will come to Baton Rouge and compete for the starting job in the fall. Brennan is a pro-style quarterback, like Etling, who can lead this team in the right direction. Should he be named the starter by head coach Ed Orgeron, he will have a handful of playcalls to learn and a great system to work in. Many believe that Brennan is the quarterback of the future for the Tigers.
Narcisse was an early enrollee at LSU who has one advantage over Brennan: he knows the system a tad more. Enrolling early has given Narcisse experience with the offense and learning the style that the coaches would want him to play. He is a dual-threat that can hurt opponents with his mobility and throwing. Many in Tiger nation want to see what Narcisse is made of, and during the spring game on April 22, the fans will get to see their new dual-threat in full action.