Beware of hype for true freshman quarterbacks like LSU’s Myles Brennan

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The hype machine is working overtime in regards to LSU true freshman quarterback Myles Brennan.

That is, ever since head coach Ed Orgeron told reporters that Brennan was getting some reps with the first unit.

Barring injury or ineffective play by starting quarterback Danny Etling, Brennan’s time on the field figures to be somewhat limited in 2017.

Playing as a true freshman at quarterback in the SEC is difficult duty.

For every David Greene or Erik Ainge who succeeded, there are many who had to wait to experience any kind of tangible results.

“It is tough,” said Etling of his freshman season as a quarterback at Purdue. I remember thinking there were 13 defenders out there at times.”

But then, you listen to some of the comments from LSU players about Brennan. “He’s a good kid,” said defensive tackle Greg Gilmore. “I don’t know him personally, but you can be this close and the ball is out of there.”

Brennan’s quick release is only part of the story. His passing accuracy is also being noticed.

A reporter asked tight end Foster Moreau, “Are there many quarterbacks who have that type of accuracy?”

“Not many, it is always in the right spot,” said the junior out of Jesuit.

If Brennan is indeed the clearly-entrenched No. 2 quarterback, Orgeron and offensive coordinator Matt Canada would be smart to get him action in games where LSU is comfortably in front. It makes no sense to redshirt Brennan. If he is as talented a passer as his teammates believe him to be, he certainly won’t be at LSU for five seasons.

It has been a long time since LSU had a talented freshman quarterback waiting in the wings.

Besides Brennan, the Tigers have former St James quarterback Lowell Narcisse, who originally committed to Auburn and then enrolled in January at LSU. Narcisse is a talented dual threat quarterback who has only one glaring asterisk, two knee injuries suffered in high school.

With Brennan and/or Narcisse waiting, it will be interesting to see what caliber of quarterback LSU can attract to campus for the class of 2018.

Former Tigers head coach Les Miles and his offensive coordinator Cam Cameron recruited dual-threat quarterbacks and tried to convert them into more pro style passers.

The results were unsatisfactory.

I will be curious to see exactly what type of quarterback LSU pursues. Do the Tigers go pro style? It was something Orgeron saw work very successfully at Southern California. Or does LSU commit to the dual threat quarterback, something that now permeates their home base of Louisiana?

Regardless of what happens down the road, for the first time since perhaps JaMarcus Russell, LSU has potentially two dynamic signal callers waiting in the wings.

Russell went on to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in 2007. He was finally given his big chance when Les Miles took over for the 2005 season.

But few remember where Russell was in the pecking order for LSU quarterbacks on Jan. 1, 2005, in the Capital One Bowl against Iowa, the final game of Nick Saban’s tenure with the Tigers. That would be third, behind Marcus Randall and Matt Flynn.

So, while Myles Brennan has impressed in the LSU quarterback futures derby, pardon the pun, but there are miles to go.

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Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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