Replacing Mettenberger: LSU owns two capable quarterbacks
It’s always an annual challenge trying to replace an impact player, but in the SEC, coaches are paid to recruit and develop the next standout athlete in fear of the impending hot seat should seasons turn sour.
Over the last two weeks, SDS has looked at a key player loss for each program in the conference and broken down that position’s potential replacements. Rest assured, a few of these guys will be household names by season’s end.
- SOUTH CAROLINA
- OLE MISS
- TEXAS A&M
- MISSISSIPPI STATE
- TODAY: LSU
You can’t go wrong with either player.
That succinctly summarizes LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s opinion of potential starting quarterbacks Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings this fall.
He feels comfortable handing over the offense to either player tabbed to replace multi-year starter Zach Mettenberger, one a five-star true freshman and the other a reliable sophomore.
With the season opener less than two weeks away on Aug. 30 against Wisconsin, it’s anyone’s guess at this point since both Cameron and Les Miles have been so non-committal. Other teams have made personnel decisions at the position, Tennessee going with senior Justin Worley and Texas A&M picking Kenny Hill, a second-year player with minimal game experience.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky and LSU remain as the only SEC programs who haven’t named a starting quarterback.
Jennings has the experience edge having played in — and winning — two games last season, but Harris has better speed and a stronger arm. Jennings and Harris each provide the Tigers with a new wrinkle based on mobility since Mettenberger was the prototypical drop-back passer last season.
Third-down conversions could be easier outside the pocket for either quarterback, but there’s decision-making questions that will linger with both underclassmen until one separates from the other.
Regardless of who starts against the Badgers, the other quarterback will be ready.
“If we can get the quarterbacks to facilitate and function, we’re going to be good on offense,” Miles said on Sunday. “I say that with the idea that young players are going to play. I say that with the idea that they’re talented and they were recruited to that void. We’re going to coach them hard.
“We’re going to make sure that we try to anticipate mistakes and avoid them. I’m not anticipating just terrible growing pains there.”