BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU quarterback Brandon Harris will get the first snaps on Saturday versus the 5th ranked Auburn Tigers but are fan expectations too high for the true freshman?
Harris came off the bench Saturday against New Mexico St. and put on a show. He led the team to seven touchdowns in his seven possessions in the game. In his last 15 possessions, the team scored 12 touchdowns.
Will things change for Harris now that he is the starter?
Last season, fans watched true freshman at the time, Anthony Jennings, come in late during the Arkansas game and lead the Tigers to a last minute victory. In the Outback Bowl, when he got his first start against Iowa, he had a sub-par performance. He completed less than 40 percent of his passes, threw for 82 yards, had an interception but rushed for one touchdown.
SB Nation's Football Study Guide did a study on true freshman quarterbacks in 2013.They concluded that "most guys are who they are going to be almost right from the beginning."
According to the study, only six true freshman quarterbacks in the six major conferences over the past five years started most of their team's games and finished with a passer rating over the national average. That six included Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
They also list 21 quarterbacks who threw more than 100 passes in their true freshman seasons counting back to 2008. A few went on to the NFL but the majority on this list had average careers or lost their starting role.
There have been a few other true freshman quarterbacks to start this season in college football. A premier program in the Miami Hurricanes started Brad Kaaya. He has led the team to a 3-2 record.
He started off the season rough. In his first start he was picked off twice in a lost to Louisville. He was also picked off twice the next week in a win over FAMU. His game has picked up as of late; setting and breaking his own true freshman passing record over the past two games.
Harris could have a similar start as he gets adjusted to the new role. However, LSU fans would love for Harris to begin his era similar to Clemson's true freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson started his first game this past Saturday against the North Carolina Tar Heels. His first pass was a 74-yard touchdown. He finished the game with 435 yards, six touchdowns, and a pick. He has earned ACC Rookie of the week honors and the Davey O'Brien national quarterback of the week award.
Fans should expect great things from Harris. He has an upside that looks very bright. He has impressed his teammates, the coaching staff, and many others around the college football world. Fans should also expect a few bumps in the road as well. This is new territory for the true freshman so allow him some time to get his feet wet. Hopefully Tiger fans, it does not take long.
Harris and the 15th ranked LSU Tigers head to Alabama to take on the 5th ranked Auburn Tigers Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN.