All eyes will be on QBs, offensive skills players in LSU spring game
Who will be LSU’s starting quarterback and how will he produce in new coordinator Steve Ensminger’s offense?
Who will be his primary targets?
And when he gives the ball to a running back, who will be the primary carrier?
These are pressing questions surrounding the Tigers, and although the spring game Saturday in Tiger Stadium won’t provide full answers, it will give observers plenty to talk about between now and the start of preseason camp.
Sophomore Myles Brennan is the leading candidate to start at quarterback, having been the primary backup to Danny Etling last season, but the position is a work in progress.
Ensminger, who was promoted from tight ends coach when Matt Canada was dismissed after last season, is implementing more run-pass options, which creates opportunities for redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse and redshirt junior Justin McMillan even if they can’t beat out Brennan.
Coach Ed Orgeron said Narcisse “has improved every day” and that he had his best day in LSU’s fourth scrimmage last Saturday. Narcisse took “several” first-team snaps and completed 7 of 10 passes for 143 yards.
Brennan, who has been steady all spring, completed 10 of 20 for 98 yards, and McMillan was 5 of 16 for 62 yards.
Though Brennan is more of a drop-back passer than Narcisse or McMillan, Orgeron said all three will be asked to run the same plays.
“But,” Orgeron added, “obviously once we find out who our quarterback is we’re going to do what they can do. Lowell will do some more quarterback runs and Myles will do a little bit more drop-back passing.
“We have certain things that we’re going to do with both quarterbacks. Obviously, certain plays all three quarterbacks are running. But then we have certain things where the skill set of the quarterback will demand that we do it.”
Texas Tech transfer Jonathan Giles presumably will be the top target for whomever the quarterback is, but the pass catchers will primarily be new faces.
Freshman Terrace Marshall enrolled early and has stood out even though he is less than 100 percent as he works his way back from a broken leg that sidelined him for his senior season in high school in Bossier City, La.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has been hobbled this spring, rushed 18 times for 109 yards and five touchdowns as he got extensive goal-line work in last week’s scrimmage. Nick Brossette had 32 yards on 16 carries as LSU looks for the primary successor to Derrius Guice.
The linebackers are the most stable unit on the defense and that has shown during the spring. Orgeron has singled out Devin White, Patrick Queen, Jacob Phillips and K’Lavon Chaisson for exceptional play.
The coach also praised defensive end Rashard Lawrence and true freshman defensive tackle Davin Cotton, who missed the start of spring while recovering from a torn ACL that caused him to miss his senior season in high school in Shreveport, La., but has been impressive since getting on the field.
Orgeron said both the offense and the defense have had the upper hand at different points during the spring, but he was pleased that both stood out in last week’s scrimmage though he did lament a few dropped passes.
He called it “overall our best scrimmage since I have been here as a coach.” Orgeron is going through his fourth spring with the Tigers, his second as head coach.