Anthony Jennings may have started at quarterback for LSU during the Outback Bowl, but he hasn’t proven ready to take over the Tigers’ offense during fall camp. Freshman Brandon Harris is legitimately in the conversation to start behind center for the Tigers. And LSU head coach Les Miles is going to give his quarterbacks time to hash it out during the remaining practices before the team’s season-opener against the Wisconsin Badgers.
“I think the naming of a starter will be when one separates himself from the other,” Miles told The Times-Picayune‘s Jim Kleinpeter. “We’re not there. I can tell you that accountability and the length of time that you need to stand in that pocket and learn the offense in my opinion both quarterbacks need that time.
“When it’s appropriate or when it’s right or two quarterbacks aren’t going to play, we’ll name a starter. But that’s never really been the key to me. The key has always been the competition.”
In limited action last season, Jennings completed only 44.8 percent of his passes. It’s a small sample size, but he didn’t appear ready once he was thrust into the spotlight. The Tigers won the Outback Bowl despite Jennings’ play.
Harris, meanwhile, was considered a four-star recruit the Tigers lured away from the Ohio State Buckeyes, Auburn Tigers and Baylor Bears. Harris was ranked by Rivals.com as the fifth-best quarterback recruit in the nation.
“He was ranked higher than me when I came out,” Jennings told Kleinpeter. “I expected him to be top tier. We only recruit the best players in the nation.”
Jennings is confident his understanding of the offense will eventually separate him from Harris, but this competition could go down to the wire. Don’t be surprised if Miles doesn’t name a starter until days or even hours before the Tigers play the Badgers at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.