Spring training is in the books, but we still don’t have a better idea of who will line up under center for the Tigers this fall.
There are three main contenders: Myles Brenan – a veteran who has suffered injuries over the past two seasons – Jayden Daniels – a transfer that started for three years at Arizona State – and Garrett Nussmeiera redshirt freshman who impressed in the spring game.
While Nussmeier’s performance is arguably the best of the three, that alone isn’t enough to win the job, especially since he lacks experience compared to the other two.
We will have to wait for fall camp to have an official announcement, but ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg has tried his hand at predicting each of the best quarterback battles in progress, and LSU has cracked the list.
Brian Kelly’s first quarterbacking competition as LSU coach is among the most compelling in the nation. He inherits a room with a 23-year-old former starter who needs to get back into shape at Brennan, as well as a transfer with several years of starting experience at Daniels. But Nussmeier generated most of the buzz this spring, impressing new coaches with his skill and ability to execute a different pattern. Despite being one of the top 65 national rookies in 2021, Nussmeier has been overlooked at times, especially when Daniels was transferred from Arizona State and Brennan elected to return for a sixth and final season. LSU also added Walker Howard, ESPN’s No. 42 rookie in the 2022 class, who likely won’t be considered in this year’s QB race.
Daniels, who started 29 games for Arizona State, did not transfer to LSU for time off. He needs to absorb the new offense and make some mechanical tweaks to try and get back to the form he displayed in 2019, when he passed for nearly 3,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions, immediately entering the draft radar of the NFL. Brennan, who had a strong start to 2020 before injuries derailed this season and next, may be the safest option for Kelly. Nussmeier’s excellent spring could change the equation, however, especially if he relies on his performance at the start of camp.
Week 1 Start Prediction: Daniels. He needs to restrain Nussmeier, which could be tough, but with the right adjustments in footwork and throwing motion, the ASU transfer should get the first hit for LSU. Kelly and his team will likely want to see what they can get from Daniels before changing course at QB.
Daniels’ performance in the spring game was a little underwhelming, but that’s understandable given his arrival. He probably still needed to know more about the playbook at this point, and we should have a much better idea of where he stands during fall camp.
He certainly didn’t move to LSU with the intention of sitting on the bench, and while Brennan and Nussmeier still have a pretty good shot, it makes sense to see Daniels as the current clubhouse leader despite a disappointing first outing in purple. and gold.
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