LSU quarterbacks improve; no one stands out yet

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Quarterback Brandon Harris beats cornerback Dwayne Thomas to the corner to score a rushing touchdown, at LSU's Spring Game in April at Tiger Stadium.
Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Quarterback Brandon Harris beats cornerback Dwayne Thomas to the corner to score a rushing touchdown, at LSU's Spring Game in April at Tiger Stadium.

A sizeable bandwagon built up for LSU freshman quarterback Brandon Harris after his spring-game performance on April 5, but coach Les Miles is doing his best to tap the brakes on any outsized enthusiasm.

“Our quarterback position will be (about) competition,” Miles said Wednesday as he led off the Southeastern Conference post-spring football coaches teleconference.

“(Sophomore) Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris both had marked improvement in the spring, but neither one played well enough to be the starter. Both have the ability to be very, very quality quarterbacks in this conference, and both are doing everything they can to improve and show leadership.”

Playing on both the Purple and White teams in the spring game, Harris, an early enrollee from Bossier City, completed 11 of 28 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns while rushing six times for 77 yards and another score.

Jennings was 9-of-17 passing for 157 yards and a touchdown but also threw two interceptions for touchdowns.

Youth movement

In addition to Harris, Miles named freshmen Ed Paris, Jamal Adams and John Battle as likely contributors for LSU at safety, saying he expects the Tigers’ reliance on first-year players to continue.

“We’ve played 15 freshmen each of the last two seasons, and we expect that number will continue with a very quality group coming in,” Miles said.

LSU’s 2014 recruiting class was ranked consensus No. 2 nationally.

Line ’em up

Miles did praise his offensive line, which returns four of five starters this fall, and new offensive-line coach Jeff Grimes.

“Everyone has experience,” Miles said. “The guys are coming with a little better technique, and we look forward to that improvement.”

Big … and loud

Miles discussed the expansion of Tiger Stadium to approximately 100,000 seats.

“You thought it was loud before,” LSU’s 10th-year coach said. “It’s just going to be a tremendous venue to play in.”

Miles also echoed Athletic Director Joe Alleva from earlier in the week that the SEC, CBS and ESPN have agreed to try to maximize the number of night home games LSU will play.

“We’re fortunate the conference felt night games in Tiger Stadium is a coveted tradition for us,” Miles said. “We’re fortunate to feel we will have advantages there.”

LSU opens Aug. 30 against Wisconsin in Houston and plays the first of seven home games Sept. 6 against Sam Houston State.

In memory

Miles started the teleconference by sending out condolences to the family of Alabama swimmer John Servati, who died Monday night when a tornado sent a wall crashing on top of him in the basement of his Tuscaloosa, Alabama, apartment.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter @RabalaisAdv.