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Thursday, July 18, 2013
Luginbill: Harris brings big upside to LSU

By Tom Luginbill

LSU has topped Auburn and Ohio State for the commitment of Under Armour All-American quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway). Read below to see how our scouts believe Harris will fare in the Bayou.

What he brings: Harris is a tall, athletic dual-threat quarterback with a high ceiling. What makes him such a coveted quarterback prospect is the fact that he's not a runner first despite being extremely gifted with his legs outside the pocket and a dynamic presence. He is a productive quarterback within the pocket and a consistent, accurate passer with plenty of arm strength on a quick delivery. He has a lot of tools for LSU's coaching staff to develop as a passer.

How he fits: LSU has been a run-oriented, pro-style offense under Les Miles that likes to establish the ground game first and throw off play-action from under center with a lot of 21 personnel (2 RB/1 TE). It is not an open, shotgun spread offense by nature, which is what Harris projects extremely high at and would have run under Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Still, the athletic Harris is an adept thrower in the pocket and has good arm strength and accuracy to make the throws required in a more pro-style scheme. It is likely the Tigers will mold the offense around Harris as they have done with athletic quarterbacks of the past. They feel he has the ability to make them more balanced and that he will develop into a more consistent passing quarterback than dual-threat signal-callers like Jordan Jefferson.

Who he reminds us of: UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.

History at position: LSU has been one of the most talented teams in all of college football in recent years, but inconsistent quarterback play has hindered its ability to win some big games and another national championship under Miles.

How the class is shaping up: With the commitment from Harris, the Tigers move ahead of Texas A&M to right outside the top five. This is a huge in-state pickup at a key position for the Tigers, who have not signed as talented a prospect as Harris in recent classes. LSU has loaded up in-state, and while its numbers are not overly high compared to other classes, it's hard to beat the Tigers' quality.