BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was in a good mood Sunday night.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the Tigers conducted their first full-scale scrimmage of camp, and Cameron sounded rather pleased by what he observed of the two most talked about Tigers players lately – quarterbacks Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings.
”Both guys were more comfortable out there,” Cameron said at LSU’s annual media day. ”That was the most obvious thing about them. They understand how and where to distribute the ball. Their body language was better. That first scrimmage rivaled our first scrimmage from two years ago and everybody remembers that year.”
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Cameron was referring to the 2013 offense featuring Zach Mettenberger and receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, who are all now in the NFL. By the end of that year, Mettenberger had thrown for more than 3,000 yards, while both Beckham and Landry were each 1,000-yard receivers.
LSU coach Les Miles has not named a starting quarterback for the opener against McNeese State. Anthony Jennings played the most snaps in all but two of the Tigers’ 13 games last season. However, an arrest in June led to a suspension for Jennings.
When no charges were filed, Jennings was re-instated. However, Brandon Harris took advantage of the opportunity to move to the top of the depth chart. The competition between Jennings and Harris is on-going. Sunday marked the first time either quarterback was allowed to talk with the media since camp began. Media day, when every player is available, allowed for an exception to coach Les Miles’ decision to put both QBs off limits to reporters, likely until one of them is named a starter.
”Collectively, we (the quarterbacks) are trying to do our best,” Jennings said. ”I felt so bad when I was not working out with the team this summer. I put guys in jeopardy. Now, I’m back on the team and trying to get better. Brandon is doing a great job throwing the ball. He is learning and watching film.
”Both of us are now one more year into the system. We know what coach Cam wants and we know what’s expected of us,” Jennings added. ”I’ll be satisfied with whatever decision is made. I don’t think people need to say, `LSU will be good if it gets good quarterback play.’ LSU will get good quarterback play.”
Harris performed well in a reserve role twice last season against Mississippi State and New Mexico State. However, he struggled mightily in his lone start at Auburn, completing just three of 14 passes in LSU’s 41-7 loss. Harris played very little over the second half of the season.
”You spend a lot of time going back and reviewing what happened last season,” Harris said. ”You get with the coaches in your exit meeting and see where your growth is needed. Coach Cam gave me a list of things. He wanted me to gain more weight, to watch more film.
”I have gotten off social media. I have just three apps on my phone,” Harris added. ”I don’t read any articles now. I am focusing just on the things my family is saying about me.”
The Tigers offense was very inexperienced last year. Only one receiver – Travin Dural – had caught a pass. Leonard Fournette, who ended up being the team’s leading rusher, and Harris were freshmen. Jennings entered the season having made only one start as a freshman in 2013, when Mettenberger was injured.
”Last year, we were young. Everywhere you looked we had a young guy on the field – either a true freshman or a true sophomore. We’re a more veteran group now. We’re going to be multiple on offense,” Harris said. ”The most important thing is that everybody is just trying to help the team win.”