Is Les Miles going all in on dual-threat quarterbacks?
It seems that way.
With the only two pro-style scholarship quarterbacks Stephen Rivers and Hayden Rettig having transferred, Miles really has no other choice for the near future. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris are both dual-threat quarterbacks who Miles plans to use this season, but new quarterback 2015 commit Justin McMillan said the change isn’t just temporary.
“They’re changing a lot,” McMillan told The Advocate. “They’re starting to change their quarterback. It’s still an NFL offense, but he’s starting to get more mobile quarterbacks.”
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was brought in to develop pocket passer Zach Mettenberger last year, and the transition and evolution of 2013 Mettenberger to 2014 Mettenberger was interesting and impressive to watch unfold. For the first time in school history, the Tigers boasted a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,300-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers. All four are gone.
The last true dual-threat quarterback LSU had isn’t an easy question to answer. Matt Flynn had 100 carries in 2007 for just 215 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Jefferson had 112 carries for 450 yards and seven touchdowns, but he threw for just 1,411 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 10 INTs, in 2010.
The dual-threat quarterback wave sweeping across the Southeast is interesting. With the NFL gravitating towards more mobile signal callers, it seems it’s the wave of the future. And Miles is riding that wave with just two scholarship dual-threat quarterbacks, and two dual-threat quarterbacks Justin McMillan (2015) and Feleipe Franks (2016) already committed.
That’s not to say the next Zach Mettenberger, a traditional pocket passer, isn’t on the horizon, but with the game trending towards more athletic and mobile quarterbacks at every level, they’ll be just a little tougher to find. Teams can build offenses around any quarterback and cater to his strengths, but it seems LSU’s offense will be more zone-read in the future, an interesting shift for a team that’s known for a power running game with quarterbacks under center.
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