Miles Needs To Make Better Decisions Recruiting QBs

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Etling Potential And Recruitment Of Haskins Keys Optimism

By John Ventola

LSU’s two football national championship over the past thirteen years were both led by steady quarterbacks. Matt Mauck and Matt Flynn were each skilled quarterbacks, athletes that proved to be dependable field generals while leading talented teams to titles. Neither was flashy, their biggest contribution being how they carried out the game plans of Nick Saban and Les Miles by keeping miscues to a minimum.

Mauck and Flynn were Saban recruits, and each replaced rifle-armed predecessors. Rohan Davey and No. 1 NFL draft pick JaMarcus Russell had the long-range arms, but

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Mauck and Flynn Won With Their Heads And Ability

Mauck and Flynn were successful with far less natural ability because they knew how to manage a game. They consistently came up with clutch plays when needed, and had an innate ability to put talented teammates in position to showcase their own awesome skillsets (Justin Vincent, Jacob Hester).

Miles survived a disappointing 9-3 2015 season, and seems intent on correcting what has been a major weakness in his time in Tigertown—recruiting a quality pocket passer. Zach Mettenberger transferred from Georgia and enjoyed success, but Miles recruitment of dual-threat quarterbacks Ryan Perrilioux, Jordan Jefferson, Anthony Jennings, and Brandon Harris has failed to deliver a Southeastern Conference championship, much less a national title.

After losses to Alabama, Ole Miss, and Arkansas, it became clearly apparent that lack of quality quarterback play was the main reason. Each team packed the box to contain the Tigers’ running attack, forcing Harris to produce in order to spread the field and

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Harris Struggled In Big Games

open lanes for Leonard Fournette. In fact, on thirteen of Fournette’s nineteen carries against Alabame, he was hit at, or behind, the line of scrimmage. Harris failed miserably.

Harris, who had enjoyed some success in the first seven games (all victories), was off target and struggled throughout LSU’s three losses. He started off the Texas A & M game weakly, but managed to pull it together as the Tigers won the finale. Defenseless Texas Tech even gave him some early problems before Fournette’s running opened up the field for some open throws.

The sophomore signal-caller has a nice touch on long passes, but has shown a tendency to be inaccurate while often throwing the football too hard on short routes. And that was an improvement over Jennings’ 2014 production, when he was unable to pass for 100 yards in a few games.

While Miles made a major hire in new defensive coordinator Dave Arande, it looks like he will retain Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator. Cameron, whose current contract

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High School Quarterback Evaluations Have To Improve

expires in March, has been saddled with trying to game plan with so called “dual-threats” while at LSU. To be fair, Cameron’s background is the pro-set, drop back passing game. Makes sense that he would personally want to have a quarterback with those abilities.

Mettenberger was an ideal fit for Cameron’s play calling. Can any Tiger fan imagine Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry running route after route looking for accurate passes from either Harris or Jennings? Talk about waste of receiving talent!

Purdue transfer Dan Etling, a pocket passer, impressed coaches during his redshirt season. The junior will compete with Harris, Jennings, and any quarterback recruit signed in this year’s class. Feleipe Franks, the nation’s second

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Haskins Would Be Nice Pickup

ranked drop back passer, changed his commitment from LSU to Florida when the Miles debacle was going on in November.

The nation’s third ranked drop back passer, Dwayne Haskins, is reconsidering his commitment to Maryland after the Terrapins fired coach Randy Edsall. He is set to visit LSU this weekend as he has reopened his recruiting.

At this point in recruiting, many scouting services now have LSU with the No. 1 class. If LSU is able to get Haskins’ signature next month and keep all their commitments, it should be the top recruiting class in the country. More than that, it will give Cameron better options (Etling and Haskins) to diversify LSU’s offense and take pressure off Fournette in his final season.

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