Examine which LSU QB has the advantage as Brian Kelly sets the stage for a high-profile battle at fall camp

Brian Kelly is entering his first season as LSU head coach, and he has one of the most intriguing quarterback battles in the nation to settle before taking the field this fall. Veteran Myles Brennan, Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels and redshirt rookie Garrett Nussmeier are all vying for the top spot on the depth chart this offseason, and the battle is far from over.

Kelly laid down the basics during spring training, but will modify the offense as needed once fall camp begins.

“We had to implement a new offense. That offense really had to take precedence over adapting to a particular quarterback,” he said in an interview with Fox 8 in New Orleans. “The reality is everyone has a different skill set. So what will happen now when we get into camp is the real work starts because we’re going to have to adapt the offense to each of their skill sets. skills. The separation will therefore take place at the pre-season camp.”

What does that really mean, though? Kelly has typically used a quarterback who primarily does damage in the air but is mobile enough to get 300 or 400 yards a season on the ground with sack distance included. However, it doesn’t seem like he’s married to that style at LSU based on his comments.

Let’s see how each candidate can fit into Kelly’s first offense in Baton Rouge.

Jayden Daniels

Arizona State

29

6,025

32

13

1,288

13

Myles Brenan

USL

18

1,712

13

6

-1

0

Garrett Nussmeier

USL

4

329

2

2

-46

0

Jayden Daniels

The eldest was a three-year-old starter at Arizona State, and while he didn’t take a snap in the purple and gold, he is, by far, the most experienced of the bunch. He threw for 6,025 yards and 32 touchdowns in 29 games with the Sun Devils and added 1,288 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in those three seasons. His ability to stress defenses in various ways is a perfect match for what Kelly typically demands of the position. After all, he drew Daniels to Baton Rouge for a reason.

However, there is a downside to Daniels’ resume. His passer rating has dropped in each of his three seasons, including a mark of 136.19 last year — seventh in the Pac-12. He threw as many touchdowns as interceptions last season (10) and his yards-per-attempt average dropped every year from 2019 to 21. To put it more simply, he’s regressed. This likely played a big part in Daniels’ decision to step into the portal in an attempt to revive his career.

Myles Brenan

Brennan was picked by former coach Ed Orgeron to succeed Joe Burrow, and he did very well in the first month of the 2020 season. He threw for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns in the first three games , while throwing only three interceptions. He tore his abdominal muscles and ligaments midway through Game 3 of the season against Missouri, and his season ended before Week 4. He led the Tigers through 2020 as he didn’t only played in those first three games.

Brennan entered the final offseason fighting with Max Johnson, but a shoulder injury ended that battle before fall camp. Johnson was traded, which might have tempted Brennan to return, but he entered the transfer portal in November before Kelly brought him back to Baton Rouge.

His ability to stretch the field and find receivers downfield makes him a weapon of choice. But, if Kelly tries to match his offense to his quarterback, the offensive line will play a big role in that. Cam Wire is the only returning lineman with significant starting experience, which could leave Kelly running for the rest of his life. Brennan has a grand total of -1 career rushing yards since the start of the 2017 season, so the offensive line will likely have to come together for Brennan to have a legit shot.

Garrett Nussmeier

Nussmeier might be considered the third wheel in this race, but don’t count the redshirt freshman. He got four games of experience last season, including against former No. 21 Arkansas when he went 18 of 31 for 179 yards and a touchdown. He, like Brennan, isn’t exactly a threat on the court, which is sure to leave a gap on his resume.

That said, Kelly is clearly a fan of Nussmeier’s perks.

“He fits in as well in a phone booth as anyone I’ve been around,” Kelly said, via 247Sports. “He’s got the makeup of a great quarterback. But there’s been this development, technically, which has been, I think, from my perspective, nice to see as we’ve come through the spring. And yeah, he does a very good job.”

This quote suggests that Kelly thinks Nussmeier has what it takes to win the job at fall camp despite his relative inexperience. Spring training provided more than a rough draft of the offense, and Nussmeier was able to impress Kelly in a big way over those 15 outings.

Who has the advantage?

Daniels should be considered the frontrunner heading into fall camp. He’s been targeted by Kelly, has all the attributes Kelly typically values ​​in a quarterback, and is the most experienced of the trio. LSU has big questions along the offensive line, so having someone who isn’t a statue taking snaps will at the very least minimize the impact if Kelly can’t stabilize things in the trenches.

That said, don’t count the other candidates. I would give Nussmeier the edge over the other two players because of his edge and the fact that his career doesn’t suggest he’s at as much risk of injury as Brennan. Kelly needs to have consistency under center because a game of musical quarterbacks won’t help anyone.

Whatever happens, the LSU quarterback battle will be one of the most dominant storylines to watch this fall.

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