Who Will Back Up Mettenberger?
New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is blessed to have a senior quarterback with talent and plenty of starting experience in the country’s toughest conference. Make no mistake about it, despite his inconsistency, Mettenberger is a talented young man. He set a LSU record with a 50:1 ratio of passes to interceptions for quarterbacks with at least 300 passing attempts. Cameron would love for Mettenberger to maintain that ration while improving on his 12 touchdown passes.
What if the unthinkable happens and Mettenberger gets injured either in fall camp or early in the season? Who is the best option to fill in and lead the Tigers offense?
Last year’s backup was the towering Stephen Rivers. The 6-foot-8 sophomore only attempted two passes and is the younger brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers is seen as having a ton of potential and many in Baton Rouge are hopeful he can follow in his brother’s footsteps.
Former Penn State starting quarterback Rob Bolden has experience playing against top-tier teams from the Big Ten. He threw for more than 2,000 yards and seven touchdowns while with the Nittany Lions. However, he never fully secured the starting job in University Park, which partially led to his decision to transfer prior to the beginning of last season. That and the fact Penn State was hammered with debilitating sanctions from the NCAA.
Les Miles recruited a pair of four-star quarterbacks and both enrolled early and participated in spring practice. Rivals.com ranked Anthony Jennings from Marietta, Ga., as the sixth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation. Rivals rated Los Angeles native Hayden Rettig rated as the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the nation. Miles and Cameron would love to give these two quarterbacks another year to adjust to college life and learn the offense before they see any meaningful game-day action.
The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Brad Kragthorpe, son of former quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe, and Jake Clise. Kragthorpe originally signed with Idaho State and redshirted in 2011. He is now on the Tigers' practice squad. Clise is expected to contribute on the practice squad as well.
LSU will have plenty of strong quarterback competition during the next few seasons as Rivers still has three years of eligibility (including a redshirt season) and Bolden has two as he redshirted last season. This fact combined with the potential of Jennings and Rettig has Cam Cameron and LSU fans excited about the potential of their signal-callers.