LSU Football: Just How Great Will Freshman QB Brandon Harris Be?

Carter BryantContributor IJune 6, 2014

Apr 5, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) during the 2014 spring game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Brandon Harris will be LSU's starting quarterback. 

Harris is currently in a battle with sophomore Anthony Jennings to win the job. Harris outperformed Jennings in the LSU spring game, combining for four touchdowns while Jennings threw two interceptions. 

Sure, it was just one scrimmage. This is why Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said after the game they are in no rush to name a starter. 

Apr 5, 2014; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles during the 2014 spring game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

"I think both of those guys are good enough to be our starting quarterback," said Miles. "We're going to let this competition continue and see how this thing plays out."

While it is smart to not make a decision based on one spring game performance, Harris did every aspect of quarterbacking better than Jennings. 

Harris went 11-of-28 for 195 yards. The low completion percentage is deceiving, as his passes to the second-team players were accurately put to where only his receivers could make the catch. Also, he showed amazing decision-making and elusiveness inside and outside of the pocket.  

Expectations are high for Harris. The 4-star gunslinger earned high praise from ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill. 

Bleacher Report SEC Lead Writer Barrett Sallee saw the potential in Harris since the beginning of spring. Sallee not only expected him to win the job, but have a spectacular freshman campaign. 

Throwing for 2,700 yards, as Sallee suggests in the above video, seems to be a stretch. For comparison's sake, that would be 253 yards more than what South Carolina senior Connor Shaw accomplished last season. 

Harris will be a stud. But his hype will not exempt him from growing pains. He will struggle like most true freshmen quarterbacks do, most of which will not be his fault.

In Sallee's defense, 2,700 yards would be attainable if the Tigers returned Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Unfortunately for Harris, both star receivers bolted to the NFL this offseason. Instead, his top targets will be sophomore Travin Dural, redshirt freshman John Diarse and true freshman Malachi Dupre. 

LSU will also run the ball heavily next season behind an offensive line that returns four starters. Miles will get back to his old ways by playing primarily ground-and-pound football.  

And the Tigers also have this Fournette guy coming to town to help carry the load. 

There will be times Harris makes questionable decisions with the football, which will then make Jennings the most popular man in Baton Rouge. Harris' growing pains might force Miles to play both, which he is not opposed to doing, according to Scott Rabalais of The Advocate

Reasonable expectations for Harris would be just over 2,000 total yards and 17 total touchdowns. He might not be able to lead LSU to a SEC Championship Game berth, but 10 wins is certainly a reasonable total.


*Stats and rankings via 247Sports, and LSU Sports Information. Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow me on Twitter @CarterthePower.