LSU Football: How Ed Orgeron is handling Tigers’ QB battle perfectly

Syndication: The Tennessean
Syndication: The Tennessean /

LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron is going to have a tough decision on his hands in the next few months.

The Tigers are in a great position when it comes to quarterbacks. LSU has four extremely talented quarterbacks on the roster that are all capable of having success in the SEC.

But only one can start. And choosing which quarterback will take the first snaps of the season against UCLA on September 4 will be one of the biggest decisions Coach O makes this year.

Fortunately for the Tigers, Orgeron is handling this quarterback battle as well as anyone could’ve hoped.

LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron is handling the QB battle just as he should

When spring practice got underway a couple of weeks ago, the assumption by many (including myself) was that redshirt senior Myles Brennan was the overwhelming favorite to begin the season as LSU’s starting quarterback.

It made sense at the time. Brennan has the most experience on the roster. And he got off to a historically impressive start in 2020 before an abdomen injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.

Orgeron, however, didn’t enter spring practice assuming that Brennan would be the starter.

In fact, it wasn’t Brennan who took the first set of first-team snaps in spring practice. Instead, it was sophomore Max Johnson, who was 2-0 in two starts for the Tigers in 2020.

“There’s one quarterback that’s 2-0 on campus here and that’s him (Johnson),” said Orgeron earlier this spring (via 247Sports). “I got to give it to Myles, he played good enough to win, there’s no question about that. TJ against South Carolina had a tremendous game. Garrett is very capable.”

“There’s no favorite here,” added Orgeron. “I just thought that Max won the last two games, keep the continuity, let him take the first snaps.”

A big mistake that head coaches often make in college football is going with the veteran quarterback by default. Sometimes it’s the right decision, but not always.

Brennan could still end up being LSU’s starting quarterback this fall. But if that’s what ends up happening, it won’t be because he’s a redshirt senior and Orgeron is just throwing him out there. It will be because he’s the best man for the job.

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Having a wide-open quarterback competition this spring (and likely this fall) is absolutely the right call by Coach O. And it’s part of the reason I think we’ll see the Tigers have a lot more success in 2021 than they had in 2020.