Glen Guilbeau / Gannett Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s spring game is on Saturday, and little has changed at the quarterback position for the Tigers. They still do not have one yet.
“The quarterbacks will be a competitive situation,” LSU coach Les Miles said after a closed scrimmage Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
It was the Tigers’ third scrimmage of spring, and Miles is yet to release any passing statistics. Considering the opinion of some of the few close to the program who get to watch all of the practices and scrimmages, that was a wise move.
There will be passing statistics from dueling quarterbacks Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris on Saturday. The spring game at 1 p.m. at Tiger Stadium will be open to the public and media.
“Both quarterbacks threw the ball better and made improvement,” Miles said. “Both played with the first team and the second team. Both quarterbacks showed skill, some opportunities to change things and improve. That’s what both are working to do.”
Not exactly a stunning endorsement of either one. Perhaps the toughest assignment in the career of offensive coordinator/quarterback guru Cam Cameron continues as he tries to replace Zach Mettenberger, who may end up being one of the best quarterbacks in the next NFL Draft.
“Those guys are younger guys, and Zach was an older guy and had more control of the offense,” LSU junior offensive tackle La’el Collins said. “I think now it’s more the opposite. Coach Cameron’s really been taking his time with those guys, just teaching them and trying to get them prepared and getting ready for a game-like tempo. He’s teaching them a lot.”
Miles and Cameron also continue to try to locate some wide receivers – something that could aid the quarterback issue significantly. Quantavius Leslie, a junior college transfer last season who caught one pass for 11 yards, is improving. He caught four passes, which was the same number of games he played last season, for 135 yards.
It is hard to remember a season in which LSU entered with less experience at both quarterback and wide receiver.
Perhaps if this intellectual showboat exhibition to get college athletes employee status and the right to unionize comes to fruition, maybe they will let college coaches trade players, too.
“I’ll give you a starting linebacker, a starting safety and a future signee for your starting quarterback,” Miles could say.
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, meanwhile, could be looking on the waiver wire for a hitter to bat No. 3 in the order, a spot that tends to have a lot to do with the offense.
All-American shortstop Alex Bregman, who hit .369 last season, is hitting .291 this season after going 0-for-12 at Florida over the weekend as the slumping Tigers (20-8-1, 3-5-1 Southeastern Conference) were swept in a SEC series for the first time since 2011. Usually a hitting machine, Bregman is 4-for-41 for .097 since SEC play began on March 14.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SOLUTION: A major part of National Labor Relations Board regional director Peter Ohr’s 24-page decision last week, which claimed Northwestern University football players were employees with the right to unionize, centered on the number of hours football players put in.
There is one way the NCAA could clear the schedule of college football players everywhere. Eliminate spring football entirely. Let football be a one-semester sport. This would make up for the extra time football players have to put in over the fall. With the way athletes stay in shape year round these days, spring football is not needed. Let football players enjoy being a full-time student free of coaches for an entire semester. Let them work out in the weight room twice a week, run here and there and be done with it. They would be mentally and physically healthier.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It has allowed young men an opportunity at an education they may not have naturally put themselves in a position to achieve.”
---LSU football coach Les Miles on what college football players get in return for their services.