LSU QB Harris to train in California in May; Grimes salary revealed

LSU quarterback Brandon Harris graded himself a ‘D’ for his performance in the LSU spring game.

He’ll head west next month to improve.

Harris, the freshman from Bossier City, will spend the entire month of May in California working out with former LSU quarterback Craig Nall and quarterback guru George Whitfield.

Harris will spend about a week with Whitfield, a former signal-caller who runs a quarterback training academy in San Diego.

He’s trained several noted passers, including current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and former Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Former Missouri quarterback James Franklin trained with Whitefield before his senior season last summer.

Already, Harris has developed in his three months in Baton Rouge with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron overseeing his progress.

Harris has gained about 10 pounds since arriving and will be expected to gain a few more before fall camp. He sits around 195 pounds.

Cameron calls Harris “an outstanding young talent.” The young quarterback was hard on himself for a spring-game performance that had fans in a tizzy. Harris seemed to have at least leveled himself with Anthony Jennings in the battle for the starting job.

He finished 11-for-28 for 195 yards and three passing touchdowns. He had 77 yards rushing with a score, numbers that brewed excitement in the LSU football community.

Harris didn’t know what all of the fuss was about.

“Brandon said to me, ‘Coach, I’ve never seen so many people excited about the worst game I’ve ever played,’” Cameron said at LSU’s pro day last week.

Harris told Cameron, “I was looking right when I should have been looking left. I was looking deep when I was supposed to be looking short.”

After watching film of the spring game, Cameron knows just why Harris graded himself so low. The newcomer made some wrong reads but eventually made up for them.

“Looking right and was supposed to be looking left and then you throw a touchdown. … We know that may not work,” he said.

Jennings’ struggles were more obvious.

Harris showed touch on deep balls and an ability to feel pocket pressure and escape. Jennings was sacked multiple times and underthrew the deep pass, showing shades of his middling performance in the Outback Bowl.

“He did some outstanding things in the spring,” Cameron said. “Probably didn’t have his best game in the spring game, but that’s part of the process with quarterbacks. He’s got to grow from it, learn from it.”

Grimes’ contract

LSU offensive-line coach and run-game coordinator Jeff Grimes will make a base salary of $362,500, the LSU Board of Supervisors approved in March.

Grimes made $280,900 last year at Virginia Tech. He becomes the fifth-highest-paid assistant on the nine-person staff.

His contract was not immediately available, but a board agenda showed Grimes’ salary. LSU’s assistants are under three-year deals.

LSU’s last offensive-line coach, Greg Studrawa, made about $500,000 a year. Studrawa, though, had served as the offensive coordinator/offensive-line coach before dropping the offesnive coordinator role after the 2012 season.

LSU’s staff received $1.065 million in automatic raises this year, with $700,000 going to Cameron.

Cameron, who was hired in February 2013 after being fired by the Baltimore Ravens, earned $600,000 last year. His pay rises to $1.3 million, and the wide gap between salaries in the first and second years of his contract likely means the Ravens were fulfilling his previous contract, though the club would has never confirmed that detail.

The contract and/or salary for special-teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto was not available.

All of coach Les Miles’ position coaches and Cameron have contracts that run through 2015 season. Defensive coordinator John Chavis’ contract runs through 2014. Miles received an extension last year through 2019.