8/15/18 5:30 am CST
Good morning, Tiger Fans,
Just a few hours after Justin McMillan and Lowell Narcisse’s absences created a massive buzz across the internet, the buzz reached a fever pitch when Lowell Narcisse tweeted that he is transferring. In his message announcing the news, he stated, “I’ve decided the best thing for my future is transfer and get a fresh start and be able to have an opportunity to showcase my abilities.” I can’t say that I’m shocked by the news, knowing how it’s nearly impossible to keep four highly-recruited scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but I sure hate to hear it. In my opinion, Narcisse’s athleticism could have provided a valuable element to LSU’s offense even if used in only select sets. Still, I understand that he must be chomping at the bit to showcase his skills as a team’s premier quarterback and I wish him all the best. He’ll likely get that chance at a FCS school unless he’s willing to sit out a year at an FBS school, which seems unlikely given he hasn’t played in nearly three years due to injury.
The question now becomes, what about McMillan? All along, I’ve thought that he would be the most likely to transfer since he graduated this year and would be able to play right away with two seasons of eligibility. His absence yesterday, combined with the timing of all this (LSU classes are set to begin Monday) make it almost certain that he’s mulling over that very option and that Orgeron has probably already indicated that Joe Burrow will be the starter. Today should be very telling as the team is set to return to the practice field this afternoon and Coach Orgeron is scheduled to address the media afterward.
As Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated pointed out last night on social media, quarterback transferring has become quite common throughout collegiate football, but LSU’s numbers are mind-boggling. According to Dellenger, LSU has signed 20 quarterbacks in the last 13 classes (2005-17) and only four completed their collegiate careers at LSU. Fourteen either were dismissed, transferred, or switched positions. Nine never played a single down.
Moving on… below are a few more notes from yesterday’s practice, as well as a 4:30 HD video provided by Jim who was on-site for the action.
DandyDon.com’s LSU Football Practice Video – August 14, 2018
• McMillan and Narcisse were not the only significant absences yesterday. Missing for the second straight day were DE Rashard Lawrence, S Eric Monroe, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and TE Thaddeus Moss. DE Glen Logan was a new absence and LB Micah Baskerville did not participate as he continues to recover from foot surgery.
• CB Greedy Williams, CB Mannie Netherly and LB Patrick Queen, were out of the gold no-contact jerseys they wore on Monday and back to full speed in purple. All three did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage. FB Tory Carter remained in a gold jersey Tuesday.
• Orgeron spent the day working closely with the defensive line. Quarterbacks and receivers worked on a variety of routes with stutter steps, spin moves and double moves. It appears Steve Ensminger’s offense is going to employ a lot of short routes from sideline to sideline. Wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan was grinding hard on his troops, trying to get them to nail down the little things, like squaring off their routes. “You making this too hard,” he told freshman Terrace Marshall as he struggled to get the steps on a one-step crossing pattern.
• Breiden Fehoko, in his short time at LSU, has taken the reins as the leader of the defensive front. With Lawrence out, Fehoko was the vocal guy Tuesday when he wasn't drowned out by Orgeron. Fehoko transferred from Texas Tech in the spring of 2017 and practiced all season while waiting his turn. Now he appears set for a monster year.
In news from the opposing camp, former LSU offensive tackle George Brown won’t be available to play for the Miami Sept. 2 in Arlington, the school announced. Brown, a redshirt junior who transferred two years ago just before the season started, will have surgery on his MCL this week. He was considered a backup at right tackle for the Hurricanes and may return to action in 2018.
Switching gears here… A lot of you have asked for information on how LSU players fared in summer ball. With that in mind, I’ve posted this press release issued by LSU’s Sports Information Department: TIGERS RETURNING FROM SUMMER LEAGUES, BEGIN CLASSES ON AUGUST 20. In it, you’ll find summer stats on junior pitcher Zack Hess, junior outfielder Zach Watson, sophomore outfielder Daniel Cabrera, senior infielder Brandt Broussard, Junior pitcher Matthew Beck, Sophomore shortstop Hal Hughes, sophomore JUCO transfer catcher Saul Garza, freshmen infielder Gavin Dugas and freshman first-baseman Cade Beloso.
Now let’s move on with our Countdown to Game Day, which, believe it or not, is only 18 days away. The topic for today’s write-up was an easy choice since the awarding of the prestigious No. 18 jersey has become such a popular Tiger tradition. Tight end Foster Moreau won the honor for the 2018 season and becomes the second tight end to receive it. The tradition started when QB Matt Mauck wanted to pass his number down to someone who exemplified what it meant to be a Tiger. After the 2003 BCS title season, he handed it off to RB Jacob Hester, who wore it for four seasons (2004-07). Next it went to TE Richard Dickson and then RB Richard Murphy, S Brandon Taylor, DT Bennie Logan, LB Lamin Barrow, RB Terrance Magee, CB TréDavious White (2 seasons), and last year to two players, DT Christian LaCouture and FB John David Moore.
LSU fans have taken to the tradition and love speculating each August as to which player will be given the number based on a vote by the team. Foster Moreau was an outstanding choice. He’s a guy who it’s easy to see gives his all and besides being a strong blocker and dependable receiver, is also adept in the classroom. Here's a guy who barely got a scholarship offer, it didn’t come until signing day, but wanted badly to be a Tiger. He’s only missed one game in three seasons and that was because of an illness. Last year, he was the team’s second leading receiver with 24 catches for 278 yards and three TDs. LSU couldn’t have picked a better Tiger to carry on the tradition.
That’s it for now, but please note that I’ve updated our Ticket Exchange with several new listings including some for the Miami game.
Have a great day, Tiger Fans, and tune in for Orgeron’s comments on the quarterback situation and more in tomorrow’s report.