LSU football report card: Midseason grades

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Oct 3, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) against the Eastern Michigan Eagles during the first quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: B+

Entering the 2015 college football season, the LSU Tigers needed Brandon Harris to step up in a big way. Through six games, he has done exactly that.

For one of the first times since their 2007 BCS National Championship run, the Tigers feature a multidimensional offense worthy of a national title contender.

There was plenty of optimism surrounding Harris’ potential before the season began. Reports indicated that he had gained a full understanding of the offense, something he had failed to do as a true freshman in 2014. It had also become common knowledge that he had developed a strong connection with his receivers during the offseason.

Harris was primed to take a step forward in his second year under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, just as Zach Mettenberger had done two years earlier. But few expected him to emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC. In 2015, Harris finds himself in that territory.

He has extended plays with his legs, which given his athleticism, is no surprise. What has been a surprise is just how much Harris has improved in the passing game.

According to Pro Football Focus, he grades out as the SEC’s top quarterback in 2015, despite handing the ball to Leonard Fournette more than 20 times per game. He has completed 59.3 percent of his passes for 812 yards and six touchdowns, and has yet to throw his first interception of 2015.

Harris’ passing numbers may not be gaudy, and they may not earn him first-team All-SEC honors. But his performance has been exactly what the Tigers need this season.

Next: Running Backs