Ed Orgeron will make the final decision on LSU’s starting quarterback. He’ll take input from all of his offensive staff, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger in particular, but it’ll ultimately be his call.
The coach laid out some parameters Friday for the four-way quarterback battle that’ll begin in earnest when LSU hits the practice field for the first time on Saturday.
Graduate transfer Joe Burrow and the returning trio of Myles Brennan, Lowell Narcisse and Justin McMillan will each receive the same consideration and equal reps before a starter is named, Orgeron explained.
Burrow, Brennan and Narcisse were spotted on campus Friday morning as players checked in for the start of fall camp. McMillan was busy graduating, one of three Tigers to do so on Friday, but Orgeron said he expected him to be on the practice field with the others come Saturday morning.
“He’ll be ready to go,” Orgeron said.
Rotating four quarterbacks in for significant reps can create challenges as far as making sure each gets enough work in camp to be ready for the season, particularly due to NCAA regulations limiting on-field practice time.
Orgeron said Ensminger has a plan to create as many opportunities as possible for the staff to evaluate all four signal callers.
“Steve is going to do a good job with that,” Orgeron said. “We have walk-throughs in the morning. We have team periods. We’re going to split our seven-on-sevens in two. We’re going to have two (quarterback) spots in the morning and two (in the afternoon). Some other team drills may have two spots instead of one spot so guys can get more reps.”
Burrow has been installed as a heavy favorite to win the job by media and fans outside the program alike, but Orgeron said everyone in the quarterback room as a whole had stepped up their respective games since his arrival from Ohio State.
“I can see the difference in all four guys,” the coach said. “Everyone has their own demeanor and everyone has their own way, but guys are in there watching film more. Some guys are being more vocal leaders … A lot of guys have stepped up their workouts. They’ve answered the bell just like I thought they would.”
Consistency on a daily basis will be the determining factor in who emerges under center, according to Orgeron. All three of the returners had their days in the spring, but the pecking order seemingly fluctuated on a week-to-week basis.
“I’ll say this, any quarterback, here’s what he’s got to do: everything,” Orgeron said. “Show it on a daily basis. Leadership, work in the classroom, be able to run the offense, make the throws, do the right things that a quarterback does and really, be consistent every day. Stack good days together. Obviously all four of those guys have an equal chance, and let’s see what happens.”