No Pressure On LSU's Brandon Harris
Many people believe that Brandon Harris is going to win the starting job as LSU's quarterback this year. I am one of those people, even though that seems like a lot of pressure for a true freshman to handle.
If Harris were to win the quarterback battle between him and Anthony Jennings, he would be the first freshman to start at the position in Week One under Les Miles. He would also be a true freshman leading a prestigious SEC team in, arguably, the most-powerful conference in the country.
But it's fine, Harris is not really under that much pressure and here is why.
1. The 2013 Offense
LSU lost four receivers and two running backs to the draft in what was one of the best offenses the university had ever seen. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry became the first duo in LSU history to both gain 1,000 receiving yards. Zach Mettenberger had one of the most impressive season's an LSU quarterback has ever produced. Jeremy Hill's 1,401 yards on the ground were the second-highest total in school history.
What does all this mean? It allows Harris to accumulate less impressive statistics. He will not be expected to produce numbers that last year's group was able to produce because they are simply too great. We have not seen an offense like that in a long time at LSU, so expecting Harris to replicate those numbers would just be unfair.
The main scapegoat that Harris will be able to use is his youth. He is 18 years old and about to take on the toughest defenses in the country.
People have seen young men start at quarterback, but most of the players that have had success were redshirted their freshman season so they were able to get a hang of the offense. A couple examples are Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston.
Both had ridiculous seasons as redshirt freshman, but Harris will not be given the luxury of sitting out a year in order to fully become accustomed to the offense. If he plays poorly, people can use the "He's just a kid out there, give him another year and he'll be fine" cliché in order to bail him out.
3. Lack Of Experienced Weapons
The only receiver that will be returning this season that recorded at least one catch last season is Travin Dural. And even then, Dural only had 7 catches total. That means every receiver besides him will have zero game experience.
The lack of talent at the receiver position has the potential to be a big problem for Harris and the rest of the offense, especially if they are forced to rely on true freshmen to step up and make plays. That's a lot to expect from such a young group on offense. So if they fail, I think a lot of people would understand given the offensive situation.
Now I am obviously rooting for Brandon Harris and the rest of this Tigers offense, but he does have some room for error. Between the lack of experience at the skill positions and ridiculous offensive numbers put up by last season's team, it is going to take a lot of work in order to lead this team to success.
But just remember, if he is not successful this year, Harris is just a kid.