Brandon Harris could lead a dynamic LSU offense
LSU head coach has named sophomore Brandon Harris the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener against McNeese State. Harris beats out junior Anthony Jennings for the job, and gained a head start while off-field concerns had sidelined Jennings. He’s held onto his advantage while they’ve competed throughout fall camp.
A highly-touted dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school, Harris hasn’t played enough snaps for us to gain a reliable feel for what he offers. However, he did show flashes in his 45 pass attempts as a freshman. His 3:1 ratio of very good to very bad throws and a 97.46 PFF QB rating are both positive signs, but the sample size is small enough that one or two good plays could massively skew the results.
On the other hand, his performance against Auburn in his sole start in 2014 is cause for concern. Harris had a lowly 28.6 accuracy percentage as the Tigers harassed him in the pocket, pressuring him on 41.2 percent of his drop backs. Harris also took too long to make decisions in the pocket — a common freshman failing.
A gifted runner, Harris showed glimpses of his potential as a true freshman. With a full offseason of training under his belt, Harris is expected to have made progress in his ability to recognize and respond to the defense and make quicker decisions. It’s a risk, but if it pays off the Tigers could have more dynamic quarterback play in 2015, and they already have the talent at receiver to make the most of any improvement under center.