By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Danny Etling, once healthy, is going to be tough to beat for LSU’s starting quarterback job, Ed Orgeron said Monday.
Speaking on the Southeastern Conference Coaches Teleconference, the LSU coach discussed his senior quarterback and the open competition he and new offensive coordinator Matt Canada are holding in search of a starting quarterback.
“I think when he’s healthy, he’s going to be hard to beat,” Orgeron said.
Etling started 10 games for LSU last season after supplanting Brandon Harris as QB1. The Indiana native underwent what the school called a “minor” back procedure on April 24 and is expected to begin throwing in the next few weeks.
The surgery came two days after Etling struggled in LSU’s annual spring game. Still, he’s clearly the odds-on favorite to wind up LSU’s starter in a quarterback room that possesses little to no experienced options outside of him.
Justin McMillan is the only other quarterback on the roster who’s attempted a collegiate pass — he’s attempted one. Myles Brennan, a highly-touted true freshman, will join the mix this summer with redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and true freshman Lowell Narcisse, an early enrollee.
“First of all, reason we opened up (the competition) is we have a new offense,” Orgeron said. “I wanted to give a pro-style quarterback a chance, a dual-threat quarterback a chance, give Matt (Canada) a chance to see what these guys can do; an open lane to run the plays he wants to do and feel free to have success.”
The coach continued: “Danny has practiced with the first team. Nobody has beaten him out yet. Guys are very close. We still haven’t seen Myles Brennan. Danny’s a guy who can go into the game, manage the game, make the short throws, make the checks, be a leader out there, have great pocket awareness. Those are the things we want him to do. He’s also very good at throwing the deep ball.”