There aren’t many things that are a bigger waste of time than predicting anything in college football, but much less when it comes to the future of a team’s quarterback position.
Five seconds after Walker Howard announced he was leaving LSU and heading to the transfer portal, seemingly credible and well-minded journalists had the next four years lined up as to who would be the Tigers’ starter — and what the rest of the quarterback “room” was going to look like — in each of the next few years.
(And before we go any further, can we discuss how stupid this whole “room” thing is in college football? Are we trying to sound a bit too football savvy for our own good? Is there a long snapper’s room?)
Tell you what, I’ll take any and all action you want on how the LSU quarterback progression is going to unfold through 2025. You predict it; I’ll starting drawing up plans for an addition to my house.
The No. 1 quarterback recruit for next year has already changed his mind. Florida has a quarterback signee who reportedly wants to back out because he doesn’t like his NIL deal.
So you’re going to tell me you have it all figured out on how it’s going to go down in Baton Rouge for next year and the year after that and a year after that?
Good luck … we’re all counting on you.
One of the biggest pearls of wisdom I’ve heard lately is that only a fool tries to predict a starting college quarterback for more than one season in advance. And even that’s a little iffy.
LSU coach Brian Kelly tried to put the kibosh on 2023 speculation by announcing after the Cheez-It Bowl — by the way, I think the Tigers just scored again — that there was no quarterback controversy for next year. It’s Jayden Daniels. Next question.
That left many to start fitting puzzle pieces together, which seem to suggest that the “room” wasn’t big enough for No. 2 QB Garrett Nussmeier or Howard, a redshirt freshman who was heralded when he signed as the next great thing.
And now Howard is gone. Well, at least we still have that cringe-worthy video tweet with Kelly awkwardly dancing while Howard holds up the “L” sign with his fingers, which apparently now stands for “Leaving.”
It’s really simple here, people. You don’t know. Coaches don’t know. Nobody knows.
So you can throw names like Rickie Collins and Colin Hurley around if you like, but they might as well be Joan Collins or Colin Powell when it comes to being the future of LSU quarterbacking.
Joe Montana was famously Notre Dame’s seventh-string quarterback in 1974, behind such luminaries as Frank Allocco and Rick Slager. Three years later, he won the national championship. You think that was in the plan?
Good thing Nick Saban didn’t follow the natural order of progression in 2016. Either Cooper Bateman or Blake Barnett was supposed to be the quarterback for the Crimson Tide that year. But Saban decided to give that freshman a shot and Jalen Hurts took them to the national championship.
The recruiting template says that you should try to sign a quarterback every year. Even before the portal came to be, that assumes (1) all of them are good enough to start and (2) all are happy with being a starter for ONE year for good ol’ State U.
Not much of a revelation here, but times have changed. Yes, but given the choice, Kelly would much rather have Walker Howard than not have Walker Howard. But he can’t possibly have been surprised by the news.
The old saying is that if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. He’d probably also get a kick out of it if you’d tell him about that starting quarterback roadmap which you’ve got all figured out.
Contact JJ at firstname.lastname@example.org