Anthony Jennings knows what’s ahead of him.
He’s the only quarterback on the LSU roster with game experience, but he saw how well freshman Brandon Harris — his main competition for the starting job — played in the spring game earlier this month.
There’s more work to be done for the sophomore from Marietta.
“Every day, I want to be better than I was yesterday,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I want to be the best I can be and build my teammates up around me. Our coaches will decide who the starting quarterback will be. I just have to do the best I can every week of practice. The coaches will make the decision that’s best for our team.”
Jennings and Harris, who was the top HS QB in Louisiana last year, are batting to replace Zach Mettenberger.
Jennings was Mettenberger’s backup last season and gained quick experience and a spot in the hearts of the fans by rallying the Tigers to a 31-27 victory over Arkansas after Mettenberger tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter of the regular-season finale.
Trailing 27-24, Jennings led LSU on a 99-yard play drive, providing the winning TD on a 49-yard pass to Travin Dural with 1:15 left in the game, a play that was selected as the second-best play from 2013 and dubbed “Hail Anthony” by NOLA.com.
“Being thrown into the fire like that was a great experience,” Jennings said. “(Offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron prepared all (the backup QBs) in the room like we could start, but I hadn’t had many first-team reps that week.”
Jennings then led LSU to a win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl and was thought to be the default starter for 2014, telling reporters in late March: “Since I know what I’m doing, people follow me. The freshman is going to be a freshman. There’s a lot of things that he doesn’t know that I know.”
But Harris played well in the spring game while Jennings threw two interceptions that were returned for TDs. The Baton Rouge Advocate labeled the QB race LSU’s “Biggest Issue” coming out of spring.
“We think that both guys are pretty good, and we would like to think that they would continue to improve and be well beyond where they are today,” coach Les Miles told NOLA.com after the game. “I think both guys are good enough to be our quarterback.”
Jennings said: “I think spring went well for me. It was my second spring, so I knew what to expect and knew more of the offense. Obviously, Brandon had a great spring, but I feel like all of our quarterbacks improved. We know what we can do and what we can’t do.”
Jennings knows what he has to work on before this fall.
“I just have to focus on being in a leadership role this year, of being more explosive in the pocket, having more of a pocket presence and driving the ball downfield,” he said.
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