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August 23, 2010

Several Quarterback Options for LSU

While I have previously talked about some creative quarterback ideas for LSU,  an article by Glenn Guilbeau about incoming freshman Spencer Ware got me thinking again about LSU's quarterback possibilities.

There are four players on LSU's roster listed as quarterbacks.  From most reports, starter Jordan Jefferson is prepared to take a few more chances in the passing game and provide leadership necessary for more offensive success.  Jefferson's backup, Jarrett Lee, may be a more complete quarterback should Jefferson falter.  If someone will teach Lee to not telegraph his passes, increase his ball placement accuracy, and release the ball more quickly, Lee will one day be a hall of fame quarterback.  Of course those three skills are much easier to recommend than they are to learn.  The other two quarterbacks are Barrett Bailey and T.C. McCartney. Bailey threw for 4,400 yards and 38 TDs in three years as a starter at University high school on the LSU campus.  T.C. McCartney is the son of a very good former Colorado quarterback and the grandson of a legendary Colorado head coach.  While McCartney has the size and some of the skills of his late father, my guess is that he is learning to be a coach so that he can follow in his grandfather's footsteps.  

Even though there are four very capable players listed as quarterbacks on LSU's roster, there are four other LSU players that were very good high school quarterbacks that are listed at other positions.  

Spencer Ware can play quarterback.
Glenn Guilbeau recently alerted us to the fact that incoming freshman Spencer Ware may be considered as a backup quarterback.  Some may imagine that Ware would most probably operate out of the wildcat formation much like Russell Shepard did last year.  Ware is a running back and would do well in the wildcat but, Ware can also pass.  Ware played quarterback his entire high school career and by the beginning of his senior year he had thrown for 5,265 yards and 34 touchdowns.  

Russell Shepard can play quarterback. 
It is a well known fact that Russell Shepard was listed as the number 1 dual threat quarterback upon entering LSU last year.  Fans were frustrated that we never got to see Shepard throw a single pass and rarely got to see him run the ball despite the fact that he had a team leading 6.2 average yards per carry.  In Shepard's last three years as a starting quarterback he averaged more than 1100 yards passing (3,320 total) and more than 11 touchdowns (34 total) a season.  Shepard's confidence and leadership abilities have also been widely reported.

Rueben Randle can play quarterback.
Many people have forgotten that Rueben Randle played quarterback his senior year at Bastrop High School. Randle did not just fill in as QB and he was more than a fair starting QB.  In the one year he played quarterback Randle threw for 2,461 yards and 20 touchdowns while maintaining a 60% completion rate. Not bad for a first year at the quarterback position.

Starting cornerback Morris Claiborne can play quarterback.
I have also read somewhere that Patrick Peterson is a capable quarterback but since he is also a return man this year, I have excluded him from this group.  Claiborne, the other cornerback, played quarterback at Fair Park High School in Shreveport, La.  His senior year, Claiborne, not only rush for more than a 1000 yards, he also threw for slightly over 1000 yards including 14 touchdowns.

What is also unique about each of these former high school quarterbacks is that each possesses the ability to run the ball effectively.  None of these four have experience or have mastered the reads or LSU quarterback play book but, any of these player could really confuse opposing defenses for a play or two.

Think about it.  Russell could line up in the wildcat with Ware as a second back.  Suddenly, Russell moves to the slot position, the ball is directly snapped to Ware who can then either run or pass.  Ware passing in that situation would totally catch defenses scratching their head after just figuring out that Russell was not running the wildcat.

Honestly, any of these "other" quarterbacks could be used with a single "school yard" type play where the line pass blocks the opponents linemen wide instead of forming a pocket and the quarterback runs if the hole is big enough.  If the linebackers fill the holes, the quarterback dumps it off to the open space left by the linebacker.  If the corners and safeties fill those gaps the quarterback throws it quickly down field.  So the quarterback has only one play to remember with simple variations on where the short and long receivers will be and has the option to decide to run.

With the number of talented quarterbacks on LSU's roster the "Wizard", offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, ought to have a few tricks up his sleeve.  Wouldn't it be exciting if he pulled out his bag of tricks? 


Anonymous said...

That figures - the best quarterbacks at LSU are playing rb, wr, and even cb.

Anonymous said...

The "Wizard"? Lots of luck getting him to locate his bag of tricks. But here's hoping. Maybe Gonzales will help.

Enjoyed the article! Keep writing, Bob.

Anonymous said...

sam gibson also played qb for his h.s. (prattville)in alabama and was an absolute beast in 2008 as a Jr.
164/95/1,170 /15

Anonymous said...

whats the point here? every player on the team other than lineman probably played quarterback at some point in high school because the coaches wanted their best and most talented player to touch the ball every play.

Anonymous said...

Always a stick in the mud trying to put his two cents in. The point is that LSU has some creative options if our offense "performs" like last year. You are probably one of those guys that claim we always miss on talent. The silver lining is that you just admitted that LSU gets the "best" players.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the issue isn't the player or positions they are playing...maybe it is how they are coached??? You would think with all of the QB talent on this team that someone would be able to step up and teach these guys how to play in the SEC...or not!

Anonymous said...

ok mr. optimistic, heres the silver lining. every team in the sec can call out at least a dozen players who played quarterback in high school. the fact is, these kids were the most talented players on their teams, thats why they played quarterback. but if they were anything close to a college level quarterback they would have been recruited as that. thats why they are looked at as atheletes and go to college to play reciever or defensive back. i agree lsu gets some of the best talent, but this story as nothin to do with the price of rice in china. every team has 'these' types of players

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