LSU Football: How the Tigers’ QB battle could play out in 2022

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU Football didn’t have a single scholarship quarterback available when they played Kansas State in the Texas Bowl this week.

True freshman Garrett Nussmeier didn’t play in the game — in order to preserve his redshirt.

And senior Myles Brennan, who is returning to Baton Rouge for his final season of eligibility in 2022, wasn’t ready to play after missing the entire 2021 season with a broken arm.

Fortunately for the Tigers, LSU’s quarterback situation will be in a much better place entering next season.

The Tigers will have three quality quarterbacks on the roster — Nussmeier, Brennan, and incoming five-star quarterback Walker Howard.

How will LSU football’s quarterback battle play out in 2022?

New LSU head coach Brian Kelly said on Tuesday night, during an appearance on ESPN’s broadcast of the Texas Bowl, that all three quarterbacks will have a chance to win the job next season.

So how does this end up playing out?

My guess is that either Brennan or Nussmeier will begin the season as the starter. I tend to lean toward Brennan, thanks to his experience. Remember, Brennan was on a record-breaking pace in 2020 before an abdomen injury sidelined him for the final seven games of the season.

Brennan has NFL talent. When you combine his experience of playing with Joe Burrow and his skills, he’s an obvious choice to start at quarterback for LSU in 2022. Of course, Brennan will have to stay healthy, something he hasn’t been able to do the last two seasons.

However, while I think Brennan will be the Tigers’ starter to begin the season, I think Walker Howard is ultimately Brian Kelly’s “guy”.

If Brennan or Nussmeier falter, I don’t think Kelly will hesitate to give Howard a shot. After all, Kelly recruited Howard at Notre Dame. He wanted the Louisiana native in South Bend.

And let’s not forget that Howard managed to get Kelly to awkwardly dance for the world to see. I don’t think Kelly does that unless he’s absolutely in love with a quarterback.

“Listen, Walker Howard is a five-star quarterback,” said Kelly during ESPN’s Texas Bowl broadcast. “You know you’ve got to do what your quarterback asks, right? If he says you’ve got to dance, why wouldn’t you dance?”

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If I had to bet, I’d go with Brennan starting the season, Nussmeier seeing some brief action, and then Howard finishing the year as LSU’s starting quarterback.

And I think Howard is going to explode in the final weeks of the season, leading to an off-season full of hype for LSU entering the 2023 season.