Deke: LSU QB Harris looks like a star in the making
by Deke Bellavia,posted Apr 7 2014 3:42PM
Some of his passes were overthrown; others too short and he was only 11-of-28 in pass attempts, BUT after watching freshman QB Brandon Harris at the LSU spring football game, I came away impressed.
Certainly you have to realize Harris was in a controlled scrimmage and the team he faced was his own. However, the young man just got on campus in January…and a handful of months ago he was on the football field competing against high school talent.
I'd say inconsistent, erratic, rushed, nervous and confused are some descriptions of Harris’ performance Saturday. On the flip side, what should get Tiger fans really optimistic about the future—Brandon Harris’ ability to extend plays with his feet, his running style and the strength of his arm.
Now I'm certainly not saying it’s a far gone conclusion that young Brandon Harris is going to be the starting QB for the Tigers, when they open the season in August against Wisconsin.
I am saying Harris has shown in a short amount of time that he has the potential to be a very good player. Who knows, maybe even a great player. 270 yards and four touchdowns are nice numbers in your first college football outing.
Coach Les Miles assessment is pretty much the same. “I think that things that you do in a game certainly are things you must recognize. He made some really big plays and nice passes, but he also made some mistakes. It was certainly reviewed very positively by us. We’re a ways away, but there needs to be improvement in both spots. I really think he made four to five major errors in the scrimmage, but he improved through the adversity. If we can eliminate the mistakes and play to the advantages, that’s what he’s looking to do," said Coach Miles.
Coach Miles told me last week he liked the progress both Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris made during spring drills. And with the instruction of a coach like Tigers Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, LSU could be in better shape at the QB spot than originally thought.
Sure, there will be growing pains. There will be times when we all scratch our heads and say…WHY did Brandon do that? I also think that over the course of the next few seasons we will all scratch our heads and say HOW did Harris do that?
After seeing the young man play twice at Parkway High School, I thought quarterback Brandon Harris could come in and compete for playing time. But caution is much better served when creating expectations for players, who excel at the high school level. It oftentimes is not a predictor about performance on the college level.
With the nation's #1 player coming on campus very soon (RB Leonard Fournette); the nation's top rated Wide Receiver (Malachi Dupre) and record setting play of WR Trey Quinn, LSU could have the best young set of offensive weapons in the nation.
Experience seems to be all these young men need. And when they get those reps, that should net positive results for the LSU Tigers. It's only one game…a spring game at that, but I think Brandon Harris is a star quarterback in the making.
Big Chief’s other notes:
Several things stood out in the Tigers L-Club Spring Game. The play of rising DE Danielle Hunter was impressive. Hunter recorded two sacks along with several pressures. Hunter gained attention last season with his quickness on the edge as a solid pass rusher and looks poised to have a breakout season.
LB Ronnie Feist was a tackling machine recording 14 tackles--all in the first half. The former West St. John Rams star has been out of site/out of mind his first two seasons in Baton Rouge. Could this be the year he stands out? He's got a lot of momentum going into the off season for sure!
Fellow linebackers Deion Jones and Kwon Alexander both had pick sixes for the Tigers D. And, WR Travin Dural could very well be the top veteran player at the position. With Dupre and Quinn coming this summer, Dural needed a nice showing before the nation's top freshmen come on campus. Five grabs, 130 yards and two TD's is a nice start.
Another true freshman stood out--Ed Paris. One of the nation's top high school defensive backs will play CB for the Tigers. Paris looked good in the Tigers secondary. He made a real nice play on the ball breaking up a pass early in the game. Paris should be another young impact player for LSU this season.