Developing QBs not LSU’s forte

<p class="p1">By Thursday the dust was settling on LSU’s latest quarterback exodus, and Tiger evacuee Lowell Narcisse was — as is quite the trend these days, the way business gets done — taking to social media.

<p class="p1">“I have my release paper for anyone who is interested,” Narcisse did tweeteth.

{{tncms-inline account="L_Narcisse2" html="&amp;lt;blockquote class=&amp;quot;twitter-tweet&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;p lang=&amp;quot;en&amp;quot; dir=&amp;quot;ltr&amp;quot;&amp;gt;I have my release paper for anyone who is interested&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&amp;amp;mdash; Lowell Narcisse Jr. (@L_Narcisse2) &amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;https://twitter.com/L_Narcisse2/status/1030166362788974593?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&amp;quot;&amp;gt;August 16, 2018&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/blockquote&amp;gt;" id="1030166362788974593" type="twitter"}}

<p class="p1">Well, at least it doesn’t sound like any school was unduly tampering with him to influence this decision to join quarterback teammate Justin McMillan in fleeing the premises.

<p class="p1">And later Thursday, Narcisse did find a new home at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

<p class="p1">But if this tweet was to be taken as a formal job application, Narcisse might have added, “Willing to study and work hard … and not afraid to defy history.”

<p class="p1">This is not to dog out on Narcisse, who by all accounts is a fine young man who has handled this whole transfer thing with nothing but class and with nothing but gracious things to say about his teammates, coaches, fans and the program while turning in his equipment.

<p class="p1">Same thing for Justin McMillan, who will also be seeking a new spot to display his quarterbacking wares.

<p class="p1">LSU fans should wish them both godspeed and good luck.

<p class="p1">No need to add that …

<p class="p1">They’ll probably need it.

<p class="p1">With two more out the door, the troubling statistical trend continued apace for the Tigers.

<p class="p1">It’s certainly not LSU specific.

<p class="p1">With college quarterbacks it seems to be, “If I ain’t starting, I’m departing” — with a beep-beep Road Runner puff of cartoon dust.

<p class="p1">It happens everywhere — a backup lineman can still count on playing time; not so much under center where the phrase “two-quarterback system” sends shockwaves through any fan base.

<p class="p1">But quarterback is always a hot-button topic with LSU, and the Tigers seemed to run off more than most.

<p class="p1">If you update the research The Advocate in Baton Rouge did last spring, LSU has signed 18 high school quarterbacks since 2005, and only two finished their playing days there.

<p class="p1">But it’s hard to find one whose career took off by getting out of Baton Rouge.

<p class="p1">Many will tell you that the most remarkable thing about LSU’s 13-0 run in 2011 to the national championship game was that Les Miles did it with two erratic (at best) quarterbacks sharing time (it caught up with them, infamously, in the BCS title game). 

<p class="p1">But congratulations to Jarrett Lee. 

<p class="p1">He was the last quarterback to lead LSU in passing while both signing with the school out of high school and finishing his career there.

<p class="p1">Jordan Jefferson, the other half of the duo, led LSU the previous year and finished there.

<p class="p1">Since then the rare bright spots at the position have been transfers who fell in LSU’s lap (Zach Mettenberger for 2012-13) or had a lost a starting job elsewhere (Danny Etling for the last two seasons).

<p class="p1">Otherwise, you’ve got Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, who led for a season (by default, somebody had to) before losing the job and getting itchy feet.

<p class="p1">The rest hightailed it without really doing anything of note.

<p class="p1">Which was fine.

<p class="p1">“Guys want to play,” Orgeron said of McMillan’s and Narcisse’s departures. “I don’t blame them.”

<p class="p1">Jennings found a home as a starter at Louisiana-Lafayette, but it would be hard to call it a big career-changer.

<p class="p1">Lindsey Scott, who left a year ago as a redshirt freshman, took the junior college route, lit it up for a year, and is now at Missouri, where this year he’ll play behind pre-season all-Southeastern Conference quarterback Drew Lock.

<p class="p1">The rest might as well have entered the witness protection program.

<p class="p1">That suggests that the Tigers’ problem has been evaluating high school quarterbacks as much as developing them once they get there.

<p class="p1">On the other hand, LSU has gotten excellent results from transfers Mettenberger, Etling and certainly now Joe Burrow comes in from Ohio State with high expectations for this season.

<p class="p1">If these things were trades — which, admittedly, they aren’t — you’d have to say LSU is getting the better end of the deal.

<p class="p1">So what do the latest two transfers realistically mean for LSU this year?

<p class="p1">Barring a rash of injuries at the position, not much.

<p class="p1">Orgeron made a big show of it being a wide-open, four-man race for the position. 

<p class="p1">He almost had me believing it.

<p class="p1">But he must have been refreshingly blunt with McMillan and Narcisse while issuing grades for last week’s scrimmage and, as he said, establishing a “pecking order” before meeting individually with both of them.

<p class="p1">The presumption all along was that it was destined to be a duel between Burrow and Myles Brennan, the only two quarterbacks left on scholarship.

<p class="p1">I’ll save you the suspense — it’s Burrow’s job to lose. LSU would not have gone after him so hard if the staff had really been confident with what they had at the position after spring practice.

<p class="p1">Burrow will have two years at LSU. Brennan is a sophomore and has enough time, to push him.

<p class="p1">That is, if he sticks around.

<hr /><p class="p2"><strong>Scooter Hobbs</strong> covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com””<p>Jarrett Lee was the last quarterback to lead LSU in passing while both signing with the school out of high school and finishing his career there.</p>

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