BATON ROUGE - Perhaps the most significant recruit for LSU coach Ed Orgeron's 2018 signing class will be in town this weekend.
Former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), a red shirt sophomore backup, will be visiting the LSU campus after the Tigers received permission from Ohio State to recruit him as a graduate transfer. Cincinnati has also received such permission, and Nebraska may soon be in the mix as well.
Burrow, who graduated after just three years on Sunday from Ohio State in family/financial resource management, would be eligible to play in 2018 at LSU, which has needed some family/financial resource and roster management for years now.
So, I hereby proclaim May 11-13, "Baton Rouge Restaurant Weekend."
Bring in the chefs, the white table cloths, the no table cloths, the REAL jambalaya, the crawfish monica, the chicken andouille gumbo, the fried shrimp po' boys and the Drago's char-grilled oysters. Let Burrow burrow in it all.
In addition, keep him out of Baton Rouge traffic, which will be difficult. And don't burden him with too many details, such as LSU being on its fourth offensive coordinator in less than two years.
Keep it fun. Bring him to LSU's baseball game against Alabama Saturday night. He'll see two things that one can usually only see this time of year - the only major sport at LSU that is a national player and a win over Alabama, which has not happened in football since the football program was last a national player going on seven years ago.
Great timing and quick work by Orgeron to bring Burrow in now and not next month when Midwesterners tend to melt down here amid the heat and humidity. No sense letting him feel that that now. LSU should've brought him in last weekend with a quick stop at Jazz Fest, but he only decided he was definitely leaving Ohio State last Tuesday.
Burrow is not the greatest thing since sliced crawfish bread, but he is probably better than anyone else LSU has. Sorry, that's just the facts.
He has the classic quarterback size, which projected LSU starter Myles Brennan, a sophomore, does not have at 6-4, 193 as he is very thin. And it remains to be seen if strength coach Tommy Moffitt can perform a binge miracle on him. Junior Justin McMillan, who was the best quarterback at the spring game last month, is a bit smallish, too, at 6-2 and 210. Redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse is thicker and more durable at 6-2 and 231, but he has had knee problems and is an erratic passer.
Burrow has more experience than LSU's three quarterbacks put together. He backed up Ohio State starter J.T. Barrett, who is now a Saint, in 2016 and '17. He played in six games last season, completing 22 of 28 passes (78 percent) for 226 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. For his career, he is 29 of 39 (74 percent) for 287 yards and two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Not a large sample size by any means, but that is a 153.1 efficiency rating, which was the same number that the No. 13 efficiency rated passer in the nation had last year. That was LSU quarterback Danny Etling, who is also from the Midwest in Terre Haute, Indiana, and came to LSU via Purdue.
Brennan was 14 of 24 for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions (that basically lost the Troy game) for a 119.12 rating in six games last season as a backup for Etling. And yes, he should have played more. Meanwhile, McMillan has thrown one pass in his college career. Narcisse has not played in a college game yet, and he has not played in any game since his junior year at St. James High in 2015 because he missed all of his senior season with a knee injury.
Burrow may already also be the most accurate passer of the four. And goodness knows, LSU in recent years has done much better with quarterbacks whose college development started at other places under better offensive coaches than its own. Zach Mettenberger was coached by Mark Richt at Georgia before transferring to a junior college and starting at LSU in 2012 and '13, and put up some of the best efficiency numbers in LSU history in '13. Etling played for a very well respected offensive coordinator in John Shoop at Purdue.
Now, LSU could get Burrow, who came up at Ohio State under one of the better offensive coaches in football in head coach Urban Meyer.
Even if Burrow does not start or even compete for a starting job this season, Orgeron desperately needs to sign him for roster insurance. And if this upsets Brennan or McMillan or Narcisse, so be it. If one or even two transfer, so be it. A coach does not want or need a quarterback or quarterbacks with such thin skin that the acquisition of a two-year backup would make them want to transfer.
Orgeron and staff have had to deal with the threat of Narcisse transferring since last year. This is amazing since Narcisse has not played since 2015. This is why Orgeron had to continually market an equal quarterback race throughout the spring.
"Everybody's happy," he said at a recent speaking stop in Houston while hoping and praying none leave.
If McMillan or Narcisse gets upset by the news of Burrow possibly coming to LSU, neither is your quarterback. Let one or both go. The best quarterbacks don't care who else is on the team or who is about to be on the team.
JaMarcus Russell did not care that LSU also signed Matt Flynn in the 2003 class, an
d Flynn came knowing Russell was coming.
Narcisse, McMillan and Brennan need to realize that none of them deserve or are owed anything by Orgeron. None of the three - like Burrow - were exactly elite recruits. None of the three have done much at LSU, and that includes the recent spring game. All of the three should realize that if LSU is trying to sign a backup transfer quarterback this late in the game, then none of them are exactly tearing it up.
Orgeron has enough on his plate. He doesn't need to be fielding demands from a couple of upset quarterbacks with no skins on the wall.
No LSU quarterback at this point should have any "hand" anyway, to use a George Costanza reference.
Go get Joe Burrow, Coach O. He gives you "hand" over the other quarterbacks, and in the end, Burrow may have the best hand at quarterback.