He came to LSU as a highly-touted, shaggy bearded junior college quarterback prospect with legal issues in his past, but great potential in his future.
And now following three seasons with the Tigers, Zach Mettenberger's playing days at LSU are done. The school announced today that Mettenberger will miss the team's upcoming bowl game with a severe knee injury.
In his first year as a starter in 2012, Mettenberger led LSU to a 10-2 regular season mark with 2,609 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. He took a big step forward in his senior campaign in 2013, surpassing the 3,000-yard plateau and connecting on 22 touchdowns.
With first-year offensive coordinator Cam Cameron calling the plays this fall, Mettenberger blossomed, raising his completion percentage from 58.8 to 64.9 percent. His NFL caliber arm strength and accuracy has scouts talking about an early round draft selection come next May.
Mettenberger (3,082 yards) became just the third LSU signal caller to surpass more than 3,000 yards passing in 2013. In his three total years with the Tigers, he moved into the top 10 all-time in six different passing categories, and he is the only Tiger quarterback in school history to throw for more than 2,500 yards in back-to-back seasons.
Mettenberger was injured late in Friday's 31-27 win over Arkansas. Backup QB Anthony Jennings led the Tigers on a 99-yard game-winning drive with Mettenberger watching from the sidelines. He shed tears following the victory, showcasing the emotion and passion he has for the game and his teammates.
Offense was the big problem with recent LSU teams, but this year, it was something special to watch. The Tigers produced nearly 5,600 yards of total offense and averaged 37 points per game.
At 9-3, LSU now awaits its bowl game destination, and while Mettenberger will be watching again from the sidelines, Tiger fans can appreciate what the young man was able to accomplish.
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