Parkway High’s Brandon Harris ready for challenge of QB competition
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brandon Harris, LSU’s early quarterback signee from Parkview High, sees “potential” in the Tigers zone-read-option offense it used with Anthony Jennings in the Outback Bowl win over Iowa on Wednesday.
Harris, the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the nation and a four-star prospect, spoke to reporters Thursday following the Under Armour All-American Game at Tropicana Field.
In some of his first public comments since using a new NCAA policy to sign with LSU in November, Harris briefly touched on the impending starting quarterback battle, LSU’s offense and its future.
His comments came moments after St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette, the nation’s top-rated recruit, became the final Under Armour player to announce his verbal commitment live on ESPN.
He picked LSU.
“I think LSU’s future is bright,” said Harris, who says his paperwork is complete and he’s good to enroll in LSU this month. “Adding pieces like Leonard to the equation is good. I like what I saw out of Anthony with the potential what the offense could be with some zone-type looks.”
Jennings, another dual-threat QB, started LSU’s bowl game and ran a handful of option and zone-read plays. Harris is expected to compete with Jennings, junior-to-be Stephen Rivers, Hayden Rettig, a true freshman this season, and senior-to-be Rob Bolden for the starting gig.
Harris, a 6-foot-2, 193-pounder, has not discussed the QB competition with coaches lately, he said, but he’s “pretty sure I’ll know something here in the next two weeks or so.
“I know they have four guys on campus right now, and it could be between all four of us guys,” he said.
Harris completed 4 of 5 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Under Armour game.
Harris said he has not met Jennings, maybe his stiffest competition for the gig, but knows “he’s a great competitor from what I’ve seen in games. I look forward to competing.”
If he’s expected to play in Year 1, Harris will be ready, the QB said.
“A lot of coaches aren’t fond of true freshmen playing,” he said. “I feel like I’m ready. Well, I don’t feel like I’m ready right now. When the time comes, if they call my number, I’ll be ready. ... I’m just going to go in there humbly and commit.”
Brumfield eludes spotlight
Committing on national television isn’t Garrett Brumfield’s thing.
Seven players in the Under Armour game committed live on ESPN, stepping onto a stage and in front of the bright lights for a national spectacle.
He just played football — left tackle, to be specific.
Brumfield, a University High offensive lineman, verbally pledged to the Tigers in April while in coach Les Miles’ office, flanked by family members.
“I’m not going to say, ‘Why do you need it on national television?’ ” Brumfield asked before adding, with a smile, “but why?
“I’m not knocking anybody,” he continued. “That’s a great thing. I might have done it, but it’s just not what I wanted to do.”
Brumfield helped lead Team Highlight to a 31-21 win over Team Nitro in the Under Armour, staying low-key while others attracted mobs of media members.
Brumfield said he expects to move from tackle to left guard at LSU.
In the midst of what many call the “silly season” — a time when college coaches lose jobs and leave programs — Brumfield said he doesn’t worry about that at LSU.
“LSU’s coaching staff is probably one of the most secure in the country,” he said. “That was another reason I chose LSU. It’s secure.”
Brown stuns Tigers for Tide
Sister or not, Tony Brown says he’s heading to Alabama.
The Tide beat out LSU for another high-profile recruit, but this one didn’t come from north Louisiana.
Brown, a native of Beaumont, Texas, and the third-ranked cornerback in the nation, picked Bama over LSU despite his sister, Bealoved Brown, being on the LSU track team.
His sister stood by as he announced the decision.
“Roll Tide!” Bealoved Brown yelled.
Brown, who many thought was leaning to LSU, said he had a “gut feeling” during the entire recruiting process about Alabama. He made the decision Wednesday.
“Yesterday, it hit me,” he said Thursday. “It relieved my stress and I had a good night’s sleep and when I woke up ... said, ‘It’s definitely where I want to be.’ ”
How’s his sister taking it?
“She knows I’m 18 and I make my own decisions for me,” Brown said. “She’s happy with it.”
What’s Hootie doing?
Laurence “Hootie” Jones, a four-star prospect from Neville High, said he planned to announce his college choice Thursday night when the teams returned to their Florida hotel.
It’s unclear if he did.
Jones, choosing between Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss, de-committed from Alabama earlier this month.
Former Jets coach Herm Edwards coached Team Nitro, and ex-49ers and Lions coach Steve Mariucci coached Team Highlight. … Thirteen players from Louisiana were in the Under Armour All-Star Game. It was the second-most of any state in the nation, trailing only Florida, which had 18. ... The announced attendance at Tropicana Field was 21,031. ... Minnesota running back commit Jeff Jones (4 catches for 35 yards, 4 carries for 37 yards) was the MVP of Team Nitro, and Auburn quarterback commit Sean White (10 of 12 for 156 yards) was MVP of Team Highlight.
Rod Walker contirbuted to this report.