BATON ROUGE, La. — New LSU coach Brian Kelly said he was pleased with the way his team progressed during the spring, talking up the toughness of the running backs and the skill of the receivers.
But at the most important position — quarterback — a three-man race is far from finished.
“We didn’t clear up anything with the quarterback today,” Kelly said after Saturday’s spring football game. “We probably made it more difficult.”
Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels took the first snap during the scrimmage. But Myles Brennan and Garrett Nussmeier received equal reps as well. All three quarterbacks led touchdown drives in the first half. And all three threw touchdown passes in the third quarter.
Daniels was 3-for-9 passing for 68 yards and one touchdown. Despite wearing a no-contact jersey, he managed to run for 21 yards on seven carries.
Brennan, who initially entered the transfer portal only to decide to return, had a game-high 11 completions on 17 attempts. He threw for 99 yards and one touchdown.
Nussmeier, who played some as a freshman last season, had a game-high 136 passing yards, completing nine of 16 attempts.
Early enrollee Walker Howard got in on the action as well, throwing a 55-yard touchdown pass to Corren Norman.
“Brennan was good today. I mean, he does really good things with the football,” Kelly said. “He knows the offense. He’s smart. He takes care of it. Nussmeier, we talked about his athletic ability, his is arm strength. Daniels is really, really fast and Walker’s got one of the strongest arms on the team. So I don ‘t know if we’ve cleared up anything there.”
Kelly groaned when asked about the possibility of utilizing a two-quarterback system.
“It has to be a situation where, you know, you have to do it,” he said. “I’d much rather just play one quarterback and then try to fit the offense to their traits.”
Other than the process of choosing a quarterback, Kelly struck a mostly optimistic tone during the culmination of spring practice. He said he was encouraged by the power of his running backs and the way the offensive line improved throughout the 15 practices.
Kelly said he liked the talent of his receivers but wanted to see a better mental makeup from the group moving forward.
Defensively, he called the front “really, really good” and said that the safeties were better tacklers during the scrimmage.
While Kelly said it was “mission accomplished” in terms of getting a good evaluation of the roster he inherited from former coach Ed Orgeron, that doesn’t mean the work is finished.
LSU couldn’t field two teams for the spring game because it had too few scholarship players available. Star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte and defensive backs Todd Harris and Major Burns were among the 13 players out for the game
“It’s going to be a competitive football team,” Kelly said. “We have some holes. And those holes need to be addressed.”