HOUSTON — The closing of spring football and start of summer means the transfer market is open for business.
That’s especially true at the quarterback position in 2018, as it seems like signal callers not in line for a starting job will take off in search of greener pastures.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron is acutely aware of this fact as his team closed spring with a three-way competition for the starting job between the only three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.
The coach addressed the possibility that LSU could lose or add a quarterback this summer during a news conference with reporters prior to the LSU Football Caravan stop at the Touchdown Club of Houston on Wednesday afternoon.
“If a quarterback would leave, then obviously we’d need to another quarterback,” Orgeron said. “We’d only have two on the roster. But, as far as I know, nobody is planning on leaving. They’re all competing for the starting job and I think everybody is happy.”
He continued: “Everyone one of them has a viable chance to start at LSU and play, and they know that. So why would they leave?”
If one does leave, Orgeron declared it “very possible” LSU could use its final available scholarship for 2018 on a graduate transfer quarterback. The coach said LSU is still exploring a number of options but wants to use the spot on a position of need.
“We had a visit already and we plan on having other visits,” Orgeron said. “We want to see what is the best available position. Obviously we have some needs at several positions. We want to see who is out there. We want to hold it until we can make the best decision possible.”
Orgeron repeatedly re-iterated that Justin McMillan, Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse are all viable candidates to start when opens the season against Miami in Dallas on Sept. 2.
McMillan had the best spring game, the coach acknowledged, but the two younger signal callers won their fair share of scrimmages as well, a point he’s made often this spring. The battle will rage on into summer workouts.
“I want every one of those guys to work hard and compete for the summer job,” Orgeron said of where the competition goes from here. “Every one of them has a chance to start. It’s very equal right now … Hopefully it’s a no brainer. Hopefully a guy wins it in August. We’ll see.”
LSU can’t fully install Steve Ensminger’s new offense until it decides on a starting quarterback, so time will be of the essence once August rolls around.
So what happens if the race remains a three-way dead heat into fall camp as the season opener approaches?
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Orgeron responded.
Safety Grant Delpit underwent surgery for a broken collarbone suffered in the LSU Spring Game, Orgeron affirmed.
The coach said he expects the starting safety to be able to take part in summer workouts and be full go by the start of fall camp after taking a month to heal.
“Everybody heals different, but he should be able to be working out full speed throughout the summer and be ready to go to camp,” Orgeron said. “We’re going to have to watch him though. He’s very important to us.”
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Orgeron said he didn’t anticipate any holdups with the rest of its 2018 signing class enrolling this summer, but added that the staff is still working to iron out details with graduate transfer Terrence Alexander.
Stanford’s academic semester doesn’t end until June 13, Orgeron said, which complicates the matter of getting him enrolled in summer school in order to allow him to participate in summer workouts.
“We’ve still got to work on that,” Orgeron said. “I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get him in summer school. We’re still working on that.”
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva took the stage before Orgeron and spent much of his time at the microphone updating various bits of facility news.
Alleva announced plans to replace the field at Tiger Stadium next summer, re-do the draining underneath it and install new grass.
The project, which Alleva said will cost around $2 million, will involve digging eight feet into the group and fixing drainage problem that causes the field to retain too much water when it rains — which, in Louisiana, is pretty often.
Speaking of Louisiana and water, Alleva said construction is on hold for the new LSU Softball Indoor Facility because the Mississippi River is too high at the moment.
“If we break ground right now, we’d have a lake,” Alleva added.
– Special teams coordinator Greg McMahon and defensive line coach Dennis Johnson were both in attendance at the Touchdown Club. They are two of the three assistants assigned to recruiting the Houston area, Orgeron said.
– Orgeron said during his address to the crowded ballroom that sophomore Austin Deculus, a Houston native, would “probably” be LSU’s starting right tackle.
– Offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger: “We don’t have a big back, so we’re not going to be an I-(formation) team.” He added that LSU would likely go running back committee while leaning on its wide receivers, a group he sees as the strength of the offense.
– Ensminger didn’t give any hint as to his preference of quarterback, but he did share three of the key criteria he’s looking for: minimizing turnovers, accuracy and decision making.
– Ensminger estimated that LSU would use no huddle “50 percent or more” of the time as it emphasizes tempo instead of making checks and audibles at the line of scrimmage.
– Houston native and defensive line signee Dominic Livingston weighs 390 pounds, according to Orgeron. Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin currently weighs “a biscuit under 360) pounds and have a behind like an ice chest, Orgeron informed the crowd while narrating goalline clips from one of LSU’s spring scrimmages.