Stop Worrying About This...
The QB situation at LSU has been the focal point of offseason concern and debate for this year's team. Makes sense. Matt Flynn graduates. Perrilloux gets kicked off the team and leaves a Hahvahd JV player, a redshirt freshman, and a high school graduate to fight it out. Lots to talk about there, no doubt. Even ESPN got in on the opinionating recently with this little gem from Pat Forde, who is in my opinion a damned good college football journalist - most of the time...
With a good August, the touted true freshman quarterback
[Jordan Jefferson] could wind up at the controls of a low-risk offense
by week No. 3 against North Texas. Redshirt freshman Jarrett
Lee and Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch are not the answer.
Uh...what? It's not so much the respect he tosses to Jordan Jefferson that is remarkable. It's the disrespect to Lee and Hatch that amazes. Unless I missed something, Lee has played exactly ZERO college football (just like Jefferson), is a 4-star recruit (just like Jefferson), and has had a very good summer and fall (just like Jefferson). Unlike Jefferson, Lee has a year of practice and a Spring Game under Crowton and Miles. As does Hatch. Jefferson, not so much.
The point is: NO. BODY. KNOWS.
CAIN'T KNOW! NO WAY, NO HOW.
It's too damned early, folks.
Here's why you QB worriers should stop. All three QBs are doing fine. Their practice video is good. The practice reports by the media read good. And Coach Miles has had a lot of praise for the three. In fact, he's said very little negative about any of them.
So, while there's no reason to get overconfident - afterall, this is the SE-goddamned-C. Neither should we freak out. We have been given zero reason to be chewing fingernails down to the knuckle at this point. But...
If You Must Worry, Try This...
LSU's linebackers and cornerbacks. Everyone who follows this team knows that Jackson, Zenon, Highsmith, and Sanders left a big sucking sound at the McClendon practice facility as they "used up their eligibility." The defense is insanely deep on the front four, and should be plenty strong at safety (pun intended), but what about linebacker and corner?
There's talent aplenty there in both spots. But the performances of some of "the replacements" have met mixed reviews. Just for instance, Jacob Cutrera (LB) and Jai Eugene (CB) both saw action last year and both disappointed. Particularly Eugene, who admitted he was unprepared for the Kentucky game and got owned.
At linebacker, Darry Beckwith and Cutrera are both working in and out of injuries. Perry Riley has some injuries in his past as well. Shomari Clemons shows potential but can he keep his talented ass out of trouble with the coaches? And Kellen Theriot, who is a true freshman and a beast, is working on an injury now as well. About the most solid healthy player so far is Kelvin Sheppard, and thank Gawd for that! Freshmen Kyle Prater and Ryan Baker are there as well, but indications so far point to a redshirt season for both athletes. All the above injuries are minor. But as a body of work so far, the LBs seem a bit questionable at best.
Then there's the cornerbacks. As stated earlier, there are some returning underclassmen with playing time, specifically Jai Eugene and Chris Hawkins. Behind them are true freshman phenom Patrick Peterson and Ron Brooks. After that, it's Phelon Jones and Brandon Taylor. All of these gents are capable of stepping up, physically. The question is, are they capable mentally? Cornerback is a bitch. Solid corners lock down pass routes and give defensive linemen a chance to sack the QB. Weak corners instantly make an otherwise good defense very, very vulnerable. And the problem at corner for LSU is that both of them will be new, and there's noone to step in that has shown they can handle it. Chances are, we'll find one really good cornerback in that crop of talent. Question is, will we find two?
But, Wait - Why Worry At All?
I've got five words that should at least partially alleviate all worry.
Appalachian State Troy North Texas.
From a strength of schedule standpoint, LSU's opening schedule is a bit embarrassing.
From the standpoint of answering questions, I'm not sure we could have ordered a better lineup. Not only do we play a couple of respectable lower tier schools that can test different parts of the team (Appy State and Troy), but LSU has a chance to make mistakes, decide who starts, and still go 3-0 heading into the SEC hell game that is Auburn away.
What's more, there has to be a better chance of avoiding major injuries (and resting up the walking wounded) playing these schools than we had last year. Va Tech was a brutal game, and Miss St was no walk in the park either.
Stop worrying so damned much. But if you must worry, worry about the defense.
Crowton will find the right QB and this offense will be better than the one we had last year. And that, my friends, is saying something.