Each week, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue analyzes a different prospect based on in-person evaluation and intensive film study. Here's our latest scouting report of a promising young athlete and how he projects as a college player.
New LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron and freshly hired offensive coordinator Matt Canada scored a crucial recruiting victory earlier this month when quarterback Myles Brennan reaffirmed his commitment to the program.
Brennan, a 6'4", 185-pound passer and Elite 11 finalist, broke the all-time career passing yardage and touchdown records in Mississippi this season. He completed 69 percent of attempts as a senior at St. Stanislaus, per MaxPreps, collecting 3,982 yards, 48 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
A semifinalist for U.S. Army All-American Player of the Year honors, Brennan wrapped up a prolific prep career with 15,027 passing yards, 1,141 rushing yards and 188 total scores. While surveying alternative options during a transition period for LSU's offensive staff, it remained uncertain where he would ultimately land on national signing day, and a recent offer from Oklahoma State appeared to loom large.
"Really, this is a time for him to be proactive in his search for a school before he signs his name on the dotted line," St. Stanislaus head coach Bill Conides told B/R on Dec. 1. "He doesn't want to be one of those guys that gets somewhere and realizes he's not in the right place."
Weeks later, with stability restored in Baton Rouge, Brennan remains on a path to play for the Tigers. Now that his recruitment is resolved, let's take a closer look at this record-setting gunslinger.
High School: St. Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
Size: 6'4", 185 lbs
Recruitment Status: Committed to LSU on April 30, 2016
- Focus and maturity shine at a young age; outstanding offensive comprehension and a sharp mentality hold teammates accountable.
- Well-versed in a variety of schemes; excelled in an uptempo attack at St. Stanislaus and can also comfortably orchestrate a more methodical game plan.
- Threw just 11 interceptions as a high school upperclassman while tossing 101 touchdowns on 885 pass attempts.
- Brennan doesn't hesitate to take shots deep downfield and fits the football into tight windows, though his lack of turnovers despite high-volume targets illustrates a savvy unwillingness to routinely risk possession.
- He told B/R: "I'm always trying to attack defenses anytime there's an opportunity. My goal is to make the other team pay for every mistake, so that makes preparation so important."
- An ardent student of the game who worked year-round with Coach Conides, the architect of one of America's most consistently explosive prep passing games.
- Conides told B/R: "I don’t see a ceiling to be honest with you. Where he wants to go is completely up to him. Does he want be a great college quarterback? Does he want to be a first-round draft pick? I know for a fact he wants to play in the NFL. Quarterback is his job, and that’s what he wants out of life."
- Spent time studying with Hall of Fame NFL quarterback and fellow Mississippi native Brett Favre this past offseason. Brennan believes these sessions helped improve his perspective for expectations at the position.
- Polished footwork and balanced lower-body base produce top-tier power, which should continue to grow more advanced as he adds necessary weight early in college.
- Drew comparisons to No. 1 overall NFL draft selection Jared Goff from Elite 11 head coach and Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer (via 247Sports): "He has Goff-like qualities. The look is kind of similar and the frame is kind of similar, but he’s got more twitch than Jared."
- Selected by Elite 11 Finals counselors as the prospect with the "strongest arm." This attribute didn't fade over the course of multiple arduous days for invited participants who competed in Los Angeles.
- Delivers the ball with emphatic zip, utilizing a whip-like release to put passes on target in a hurry.
- Maintains concentration when efforts extend beyond the pocket; still serves up strikes even while on the move with momentum working laterally.
- Completed at least 75 percent of pass attempts in five games as a senior; includes 41-of-45 performance (549 yards and eight touchdowns) during a 70-50 victory over East Central High School in October.
Brennan brings a ton to the table behind center and projects as a key playmaker to monitor in SEC matchups moving forward. Let's examine a couple of clips to highlight how he's able to spearhead an offense.
Below, we'll focus on his ability to create issues for opponents outside the pocket. Brennan won't spend upcoming years consistently punishing defenses as a runner, but he is a threat to move the chains in short-yardage situations and maximizes his mobility behind the line of scrimmage.
In this example from his season opener—a 430-yard, five-score passing performance against Biloxi High School—Brennan operates out of the shotgun in a four-receiver set:
With a blocking back tasked to provide protection, Brennan rolls from one hash to the other, maneuvering left, away from his throwing arm. He challenges the assignment integrity of defenders by squaring his shoulders, settling in with an upright stance and serving up a slight pump fake to a shallow receiver in the flat, drawing a linebacker toward that direction:
This development sets the stage for Brennan to find a freed-up receiver operating along the sideline 15 yards downfield. His accuracy goes untested without an opponent in proximity, and a well-placed pass puts the receiver in position to gain an additional five yards to finish off this 17-yard completion that results in a drive-moving first down:
Restricted to the pocket at The Opening, an elite invite-only player showcase held in July at Nike's world headquarters, Brennan repeatedly bested some of the nation's most lauded defensive prospects by delivering darts across the field. He displayed decisiveness in the large spotlight as seconds ticked toward a time-imposed sack and carried a confident demeanor while sharing the field with college football's future.
It's no secret LSU's lackluster aerial efforts have held the team back during recent seasons, and this shortcoming is undoubtedly part of the reason why former head coach Les Miles and offensive Cam Cameron are no longer employed by the school. Since the departure of quarterback Zach Mettenberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), and receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants) and Jarvis Landry (Miami Dolphins) following the 2013 campaign, the Tigers have produced fewer than 180 passing yards per game, resulting in 40 touchdowns during a 36-game stretch.
Conversely, new play-caller Canada's reputation is rooted in balanced offensive success, most recently with the Pittsburgh Panthers. He was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 Broyles Award, given annually to college football's top assistant coach.
"It's a very interesting hire, in a good way," Brennan's father, Owen, told Julie Boudwin of NOLA.com after the move became official. "Coach Canada is certainly an offensive coach with a wide-open offense, and I think it has the potential to be very positive for the offense of LSU."
Danny Etling, who led LSU with 1,906 yards and nine passing touchdowns this regular season, is set to return for his final year of eligibility next fall. His career at Purdue and LSU includes peaks and valleys, but expect him to be first in line for starting duties as Canada retools the team's offensive outlook.
Beyond 2017, and perhaps even during his first collegiate training camp, the door should be open for Brennan to climb the Tigers' depth chart. He won't enroll early, which limits the potential for an immediate rise toward starting contention, but his physical and mental prowess put him in the conversation for consideration should the offensive attack sputter early next autumn.
He will be joined on campus by fellow Elite 11 Finals competitor Lowell Narcisse, a dynamic dual-threat talent who unfortunately saw his final two high school seasons ravaged by injuries. Both impressed during Elite 11 action, though we've consistently graded out Brennan higher, and he seems like far more of a surefire bet at this stage of their careers because of Narcisse's recent setbacks.
"He could be the pocket passer they've never had and really lift that offense to a different level in the SEC," Student Sports President Brian Stumpf said during Bleacher Report's Elite 11 reveal broadcast.
After shattering state records with St. Stanislaus, Brennan appears primed to greatly impact LSU's attack. Don't be surprised if he helps bring offensive fireworks to Baton Rouge by the end of his sophomore season and keeps the scoreboard lit up throughout a compelling collegiate career.
Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Quotes and observations obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Prospect ratings courtesy of Scout.
Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.