QB Brandon Harris signs to play at LSU

Parkway High School quarterback Brandon Harris on Thursday signed an Institutional Financial Aid Agreement to play at LSU, becoming one of the first players to use new NCAA legislation by signing early.

Harris is a four-star prospect ranked in the top seven nationally among dual-threat QBs by all four of the major recruiting sites. The new legislation gives high school seniors who are on schedule to graduate at mid-year and who plan to enroll in college for the spring semester an opportunity to sign.

Harris is slated to enroll at LSU in January and will take part in spring practice. Harris will not have to sign a National Letter of Intent in February, but he will sign an SEC letter, LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette said.

LSU running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson weighed in on the signing Thursday on Twitter: “Shout out to my man @bharrisqb1 for signing with the Tigers today! Making the future a reality! #lsu #GeauxTigers”

Seeking cracks in the facade

Finding examples of weakness in the Alabama defense takes some serious digging.

LSU coach Les Miles and crew were on the case this week preparing for Saturday, when the No. 10 Tigers (7-2, 3-2 SEC) visit No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0).

They had to reach back to Sept. 14. That day, quarterback Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M rolled up 464 passing yards against the Tide. The explanation for that is simple, Miles said: Manziel.

“A quarterback that can pull it down and go for 50 is an unusual weapon,” he said.

Still, there’s something to be learned from A&M’s 49-42 loss to Alabama. Manziel hit 71 percent of his passes, including a long of 95 yards, and threw for five scores.

Bama’s secondary was burned. It hasn’t been since.

The Tide’s seven other opponents have completed 44 percent of their passes, thrown for an average of 138 yards per game and have tossed six interceptions to one touchdown.

Part of that has been done without starting safety Vinnie Sunseri, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Arkanas on Oct. 19. Landon Collins, the former Dutchtown standout, replaced Sunseri; starting cornerback Bradley Sylve (South Plaquemines High) is questionable for Saturday with a high ankle sprain.

Miles mentioned earlier this week that he likes the matchups between his receivers and Alabama’s defensive backs.

“We think that we kind of give them some challenges on the perimeter,” he said.

The Tigers will have to turn to that A&M game for proof that it can be done.

“You can see some of the throws and some of the spots there where we’ve studied some,” Miles said of watching the A&M-Bama film.

A starting quarterback hasn’t had a better day against the Tide defense since Zach Mettenberger threw for 296 and a score last season. Mettenberger finished 25 for 36.

Still, the Tide will make adjustments.

“Those guys, they watch film, too. They get coached up too,” LSU running back Jeremy Hill said. “They’re going to see what Zach did well and try to take those things away. We know that, and they know that.”

Running on red

LSU’s coach said he stopped at that red light.

During ESPN’s “All-Access” programming this week, the network filmed Miles’ drive into work via a dashboard camera. ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung sat in the passenger seat while Miles drove.

Hartung giggled as the coach supposedly ran a stop light, and Miles was asked about it after Wednesday’s practice.

“I can only tell you I show great discretion in my driving. I’m a defensive driver,” he said.

So what happened?

“With me anticipating change, I rolled cautiously through the intersection appropriately,” he said. “I did not run a light. What I did was rolled very quietly and slowly. The light had changed at that time. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

Advocate on the road

The Advocate once again is hitting the road with LSU. Complimentary copies of Saturday’s edition will be distributed at the following locations:

Birmingham Marriott, 3950 Grandview Pkwy., Birmingham, Ala.

Hyatt Place-Inverness, 4686 Hwy. 280 East, Birmingham

Hilton Perimeter Park, 8 Perimeter Park South, Birmingham

Embassy Suites, 2960 John Hawkins Pkwy., Birmingham

TownPlace Suites, 500 Wildwood North Circle, Birmingham


According to ESPN, Alabama is 1-6 in Tuscaloosa with its “College GameDay” pregame show present. The Tide is 0-4 in SEC games and 0-2 against LSU. “GameDay” will shoot from Tuscaloosa on Saturday. ... Fans can register for free tickets to the Sugar Bowl and BCS championship game from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at The Quad on Alabama’s campus.