Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris commits to LSU

Regarded as the best quarterback to come out of Louisiana in nearly a decade, Parkway High School’s Brandon Harris on Thursday said he will play college football at the state’s flagship school.

Harris committed to LSU during a ceremony at Parkway in Bossier City, picking the Tigers over Ohio State and Auburn. The announcement was made during a live chat with ESPN.

“I get the opportunity to go in in December and compete as a freshman and start as a freshman,” Harris said. “Everybody knows Zach Mettenberger graduates this year. By me getting the opportunity to graduate in December, enroll early and go through spring practice, I get a great shot at trying to compete and start as a freshman.”

Months after Anthony Jennings and Hayden Rettig gave LSU a two-quarterback signing class, Harris became the Tigers’ first quarterback commitment for 2014 and the 14th commitment overall. The Tigers, who enter the fall with three quarterbacks returning from 2012 as well as the 2013 signees, are not expected to take another quarterback in this class.

Harris pared his list to the three finalists only last week but indicated the decision to stay in-state was not one that caused much angst.

“I feel like the talent that’s in the state of Louisiana, I just couldn’t see myself trying to go to Auburn or Ohio State and playing against that type of competition,” he said.

Louisiana has a great tradition of producing top-flight quarterbacks but has not had many like Harris in recent years. Harris would be only the third Louisiana-bred quarterback to sign with LSU under coach Les Miles, and he is the highest-rated signal-caller from the state since Ryan Perrilloux came out of East St. John in 2005.

ESPN lists Harris, who’s 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 48 prospect overall. Rivals ranks him No. 5 among dual-threat QBs and No. 186 overall. According to 24/7 Sports, he is the nation’s second-best dual-threat QB and No. 99 prospect overall.

Until the night of last year’s Class 5A quarterfinals, Harris said he had not received a single scholarship offer. McNeese State was the first to offer, he said.

“A lot of guys had been pressed since they were freshmen,” Harris said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

On the day the whirlwind ended, Harris said he tried to stay firm with his summer routine.

“I woke up to 150 text messages,” he said. “That was the only crazy thing about it.”

Harris made an unofficial visit to Auburn last week but seemed to show his hand when he returned to Baton Rouge for an LSU football camp over the weekend.

Now he plans to help LSU’s coaching staff land several more players from one of Louisiana’s more decorated recruiting classes. Harris said he spent two hours exchanging text messages Wednesday with Barbe receiver Trey Quinn, one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state.

He said 6-6, 320-pound West Monroe offensive tackle Cameron Robinson — who tops 24/7’s national list — will hear from him soon.

“He’ll be the first one,” Harris said. “I’ll get his number tonight.”