By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports!
It seemed to have started after the 2007 season. The future looked bright for LSU football while senior quarterback Matt Flynn held up the BCS Crystal Ball National Championship Trophy while purple and gold confetti rained down in the Louisiana Super Dome.
Since that night the LSU football program had been plagued with the inability to develop a quarterback with talent or recruit the best in the nation at that position, combined with a head coach who refused to change his offensive mentality. Over the next several seasons media outlets would write, "LSU is as talented as anyone in the Country, but won't win the big one without a quarterback."
It looks like things may be changing in Baton Rouge. Three and a half seasons after a
much needed coaching change, the LSU Tigers are sitting on the top of the college football mountain.
Gone are the run first and often days. Those days have been replaced with the greatest high powered offense in NCAA history. A Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and a 15-0 dream season that shattered the record books has attracted some very talented high school quarterbacks.
Miles Brennan has the talent to be a great quarterback. Most, including myself, feel that he is ready to step in and pick up where Joe Burrow left off. Behind Brennan sits two incoming true freshmen with "skies the limit" talent. Lets take a quick peek at them both...
J.T. Finley is a local from Ponchatoula, La. At 6'7"-250 lbs, Finley is an enormous pro-style pocket passer with an arm that matches his size. He has no fear in the pocket and can make every throw with ease. He also can throw well on the run. If LSU can help him develop his raw, young abilities, mainly his release and foot work, he has the potential to bust out as a star for the Tigers in the future. As a senior at Ponchatoula High School, Finley passed for 2,623 yards on 159 completions, 54% completion percentage, 20 passing TDs while rushing for 7 more scores.
Max Johnson is the son of former NFL quarterback Brad Johnson and the nephew of former Georgia & Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt. He signed with LSU out of Watkinsville, Ga., and was rated as a four-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. The No. 5 pro-style passer in the nation picked LSU over scholarship offers from Auburn, Georgia and Florida State, among others. Johnson's throw sets him apart from the others on the roster due to him being a lefty. He is coming off of a monster high school senior year. In 14 games he had 157 completions, 2046 yards passing, 66% completion percentage, 28 passing TDs and 7 rushing TDs. He was the 2019 Region 8-AAAA Player of the Year!
If Brennan can have a healthy, sold Junior campaign in 2020, Coach O may choose at some
point to red shirt one of these young men at some point during the season.
The future looks even brighter at the quarterback position as the Tigers have just inked two more major commitments.
Garrett Nussmeier, son of former NFL (New Orleans Saints) Quarterback and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Doug Nussmeier has committed last month to LSU for their 2021 class. He is a 4-star pro style quarterback out of Flower Mound Texas, and is rated as the seventh best player nationally at his position by 247Sports. "I think I've always really loved LSU," Nussmeier said during a radio interview with 104.5 ESPN's Off the Bench. "Growing up I saw purple and gold. I refer to Louisiana as my home." Nussmeier was born in Lake Charles, then was moved all around the Country due to his father's coaching career.
Walker Howard, son of former LSU quarterback Jamie Howard, just committed to LSU last week for the 2022 class. Howard is a 4-star recruit out of St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette, La. He is the No. 3-ranked pro-style passer in the country for 2022. Howard outperformed many of the nation's best quarterbacks in the San Antonio combine. 247Sports named him first-team all-combine quarterback. Many scouts have raved about his accurate passing and consistency.
So the quarterback position looks to be much improved for the purple and gold at least for the near future and hopefully beyond. Joe Burrow has staked the flag at the top of the college football quarterback mountain and has left a trail for all future LSU signal callers to follow. If Ed Orgeron has built the Tigers into an elite level program, I see Tigers not having to settle for just a "Average-okay" starting quarterback any longer. Could LSU become QBU soon? Time will tell. "If you build it, They will come."