LSU Football has a plan in place with how quarterbacks will be used at the Texas Bowl
As the Tigers continue to prepare for the bowl, the main question at stake is who interim head coach Brad Davis will line up under center after starting quarterback Max Johnson enters the portal. transfers last week. Garrett Nussmeier is the only stock quarterback on the list and if the freshman decides to play in the Jan. 4 bowl game against Kansas State, it could burn his red shirt year.
The plan has always been to redshirt Nussmeier and have him learn under both Myles Brennan and Max Johnson, but with the two now in the transfer portal, attention immediately shifted to Nussmeier. Coach Davis said the team has contacted the NCAA to see if LSU can get a waiver for Nussmeier, but with no definitive answer at this time, concerns continue to loom.
On the depth chart after Nussmeier are Tavion Faulk and Matt O’Dowd, both of whom haven’t seen any game time this year, but Faulk has had significant reps in practice so far.
Will the Tigers burn Nussmeier’s red shirt or start a walk-on, that is the question at stake? Coach Davis explained LSU’s thought process while preparing the bowl.
“The quarterback situation is obviously something everyone wants to know,” Davis said Tuesday. “We have a plan in place here that we feel really good about. We have a plethora of shifts doing reps during training. Garett Nussmeier being one of them.
With Nussmeier’s waiver still pending, this is something this program hopes to achieve for them, preventing Nussmeier from burning his red shirt eligibility year. But other options are still available and Davis has made it known there are contingencies at stake.
“We’re working on some things right now, so that we can get him to play for us while still keeping his red jersey,” Davis said of Nussmeier. “This is something that is obviously underway. If that was denied – for whatever reason – we have contingencies in place. We can get the football moving and execute our attack.
The NCAA has given LSU a timeline of when they will make their decision, Davis said, but no further details were released.
If the Tigers have the chance to try Nussmeier, it will give head coach Brian Kelly a chance to assess who might lead this team next season. With a slim quarterback room and a five-star Walker Howard coming in, now is the time to assess Nussmeier in a match situation.
Although if LSU cannot adapt to Nussmeier, they will look to step on Tavion Faulk to take the first photos of the team. Faulk has taken some important shots in practice as the Tigers begin bowl prep and the guess is he could be the starter if need be.
Another long shot could be fifth-year senior wide receiver Jentre Kirklin taking a few shots under center. Kirklin once played the quarterback for the Boy Scout team and was a talented gunslinger during his high school days.
It will be interesting to see which direction Coach Brad Davis takes this one. In hopes of securing a waiver for Nussmeier, plans are in place if they are not granted. The Tigers face Kansas State at the Texas Bowl on Jan. 4 in Houston.