Brandon Harris leads Anthony Jennings in LSU's QB race

Published: Aug. 18, 2015 at 8:19 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2015 at 8:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - LSU's quarterback competition has a frontrunner this year with talented sophomore Brandon Harris overtaking junior Anthony Jennings.

Harris has received the most first team reps during fall camp, including last weekend's scrimmage in Tiger Stadium. As a true freshman last season, Harris produced mixed results. He looked good in late game duty against Mississippi State, throwing a pair of touchdowns in a comeback effort that just fell short. But in his first start of the season on the road in Auburn, Harris struggled, completing just three of 14 passes. Now a year older and leading the QB race, Harris says he's better suited to manage the offense.

"I like expectations high, and I like pressure being put on me," Harris said. "And if any guy asks, my expectations for this team are very, very high. I think when Coach Miles puts a guy out there on the field, regardless of who it is or what your classification is, you're expected to play and at a high level. I think our fans come and watch games, they don't care what your classification is. Coach Miles puts you on the field, they expect you to perform. I didn't do that very well last year. I take it with a grain of salt. I worked hard this offseason, improved my footwork and accuracy. Stayed in the film room, and I like where I'm at right now."

Overall, LSU expects more production from its passing game, which was near the bottom of the barrel last fall, ranking 116th nationally.

Starter Anthony Jennings struggled all season, but now Harris is the projected starter. In the Tigers' first scrimmage, the quarterbacks combined to complete 20-of-34 passes with five dropped balls, according to their head coach. Despite the projections, Les Miles has held steady in not tipping his hand just yet.

"I think there's more similarities than there are differences," Miles said about his quarterbacks. "I would not hesitate to make a call if it there was a real advantage to one over the other in a situation. Again, I think they're both competing towards that -- for that first game. Again, I think they're very similar. I think Brandon is obviously a little bit more explosive, but Anthony is a little bit more veteran."

Meanwhile Anthony Jennings is trying to make up the ground he lost. Jennings was arrested back in June and was suspended from the program for the rest of the summer, allowing Harris to take advantage of the reps. Jennings, the junior from Georgia, was reinstated earlier this month, and is focused on doing all the right things to help his team win.

"A maturing process, I definitely learned from what I went through this summer," Jennings said. "I'm happy I'm back with the team, happy that Coach Miles gave me a second chance to play on this great team, and I'm just ready to continue working hard to help this team win a national championship."

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