For a day, at least, the present and the future of the LSU quarterback position will be on disply.
Current Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger will have his day in front of the cameras and hundreds of reporters at LSU's day at SEC media days at the Winfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala. in the afternoon. Later in the evening, Class of 2013 LSU commit Anthony Jennings of Marietta Ga./Marietta begins competition in the Elite 11 Finals in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Mettenberger, who will join head coach Les Miles and Tigers teammates Eric Reid and Odell Beckham, Jr., in Hoover, will likely be the most anticipated player at SEC Media Days who has yet to start a game. Mettenberger, who, like Jennings, is a Georgia native, started his career at Georgia, was kicked of the team, then landed at LSU last year after a year at Blinn Junior College in Texas.
While he was learning the offense a season ago, an otherwise dominant Tigers team often struggled on offense behind two now departed seniors. When LSU lost in the BCS national championship game, a 21-0 loss to Alabama, and finished 13-1, many thought LSU was a quarterback away from having one of the great teams in college football history.
Much of that talent is back, so the quarterback question persists. Will Mettenberger -- who at a solid 6-foot-5 with a big, accurate arm, seems to have all the physical tools one might need -- give LSU the big-play passing game it has lacked? If he can deliver, many think this Tigers team can be as good as a season ago, maybe this time with the offense to finish.
That's a bit of a burden for a junior who has still never started a Division I game to carry. As one of the most highly anticipated players in Hoover, he'll get a glimpse of the pressure coming his way.
That pressure is still a long ways away for Jennings, who will compete with 24 other quarterbacks in a skills challenge for top high school quarterbacks. And competition will be something he'll have to get used to.
When he arrives at LSU, Mettenberger will likely be heading to his senior year. Jennings will also contend with current redshirt freshmen Stephen Rivers and Jerrard Randall and fellow 2013 commit Hayden Rettig, who skipped most summer events like the Elite 11 while recovering from a knee injury.
Jennings, an ESPN 300 member qualified for the Elite 11 finals by winning an Atlanta Elite 11 event against competition that included ESPN 150 member Brice Ramsey (Georgia commit) and ESPN 300 members Riley Ferguson (Tennessee commit), Max Staver (Florida commit), Ryan Buchanan (Ole Miss commit) and Tyler Cogswell (Arkansas commit).