As the quarterback battle begins to heat up in Death Valley, there has been high praise for the players competing. Coach Ed Orgeron believes this is the best quarterback room he has ever been a part of and the competition is not close to the finish line.
“It's the best quarterback room. I mean, from top to bottom, we have four guys that are pretty good quarterbacks and they're all competing,” said Orgeron.
While Max Johnson earned the first snaps of spring camp, make no mistake, this is an open compertition and Myles Brennan, Garrett Nussmeier and TJ Finley are earning equal reps in a tight race to see who will be the starting quarterback week one at UCLA.
A pleasant surprise for the Tigers has been the maturity and development of true freshman Nussmeier. Being a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, expectations have always been high, but Nussmeier is living up to them with Orgeron giving the freshman high praise.
Though it's early in his career, Orgeron sees some similarities in leadership and competitive drive to former quarterback Joe Burrow.
“I don’t wanna put that on him yet because Joe is very special but I do see some similarities that Garrett has as far as leadership, as far as competitiveness, ability to make plays," Orgeron said. "I think he’s only going to get better here, I think he’s going to be a great quarterback here. I’m very pleased with him.”
With the spring game only weeks away, the battle for who will get reps continues each day in practice. Every practice it seems like there is a different quarterback who stands out most with 2020 week one starter, Myles Brennan, being the latest to shine.
“There’s a lot of reps to go and all four of them are doing well. I thought Myles had a great day last Thursday but you know what, it changes every day. Those guys are battling and I’m very proud of them,” Orgeron said.
With position battles comes adversity, and as each quarterback competes, Orgeron knows just how uneasy this can be. At each practice, the coaching staff is watching every quarterback’s move and keeping close tabs on anything and everything as they gauge who can take over such a prestigious team.
“I hope they’re not uneasy. I hope they’re just very competitive and I’m guessing it causes some nervousness. They know everything’s on the line every practice, everybody’s watching. But I think that’s the only fair way to do it. Now, there will come a time in camp where it's going to get a little tight and somebody's probably gonna be unhappy. That's just the way it is. That's the quarterback position,” said Orgeron.
Having such a deep quarterback room, this LSU staff is left with a problem many teams wish they had: too much talent. With the true freshman Nussmeier in the mix and three quarterbacks who started for the Tigers last fall, this will be one of the more difficult decisions this staff has to make.
It's a national championship or bust mentality for Orgeron but Tiger fans are in good hands as this LSU team looks to bring another title to Death Valley.