BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - LSU football fans have not been given a chance to see much of or even hear much from the quarterbacks during fall camp, but that changed on the team's media day.
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Fans were hoping last year's game at Auburn would launch a superstar career for a young quarterback. Instead, nothing went right for true freshman Brandon Harris. He hung receivers out to dry, missed open ones and also fired passes to no one in particular. And, as this video clearly indicated, Harris hardly had a grasp of the playbook.
"I think it's more so calling the right plays, but out of the wrong formation," Harris said after the game.
He was lost. Now, is he found?
"There's no similarity as to how he'll play as a quarterback and how he played against Auburn," said head coach Les Miles. "[He] Understands much more what's expected out of a quarterback than he possibly could have known going into the Auburn game."
"You have to understand this - Brandon came from a system in high school where they were running 100 plays a game, the equivalent of a guy at the driving range hitting a bucket of balls," said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. "I miss one, I'll hit the next one. An incompletion really didn't have any value. Because - I missed that pass, I'll hit the next one. I can't tell you the amount of times I saw Brandon Harris hit a fourth and 10. So now, you have an Auburn experience where you throw one incompletion and you sit over there. And, you throw another incompletion and you punt again. Next thing you know, you're playing from behind. I think he's got a better appreciation of how important each rep is."
"I feel like I've improved drastically from last year. And, I feel like I'm taking every step necessary to put this team in position to win," Harris explained.
Whether Harris deserved another start after the Auburn debacle is debatable, especially considering how Anthony Jennings struggled himself. Jennings, to his credit, has a firm grip on reality.
"I think when you go 8-5, it's right to have a quarterback battle," Jennings said. "It's not good enough at LSU. And, I didn't play well at all, by any stretch."
And although all charges were dropped, Jennings likewise understands his off-the-field trouble in late June also reflects poorly.
"It was a mistake. I was immature at the time. I've matured steadily since then. And, I'm ready to come out and show people who I really am and who I've always been," Jennings explained.
So now, Harris has momentum in his corner, but no feelings of entitlement.
"I haven't earned the starting quarterback job. Even if I start week one or week two, it's all about 'What have you done for me lately?' I go out there and don't do very well. You saw last year, I can sit the rest of the season," Harris added.
And finally, to maintain focus, Harris said he's keeping his focus on football and not what's being said about him outside the LSU football family.
"This whole fall camp, I haven't watched TV. I've been focused on what I should. And, that's getting this team to where it wants to go and accomplishing our ultimate goal," Harris said.
Miles has not given an exact date on when he will name a starter.
The Tigers begin the season at home against McNeese State on September 5.