Although he said there is plenty of room for improvement, LSU head coach Les Miles liked how freshman quarterback Brandon Harris performed in his first spring scrimmage Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
The former Parkway star completed 11 of 28 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second quarter.
He led all rushers with 75 yards on six carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run in the second half.
“He made some really big plays and nice passes, but he also made some mistakes,” Miles said. “It was certainly reviewed very positively by us. We’re a ways away, but there needs to be improvement in both spots.
“I really think he made four to five major errors in the scrimmage, but he improved through the adversity. If we can eliminate the mistakes and play to the advantages, that’s what he’s looking to do.”
Harris, who led Parkway to an undefeated regular season and the Class 5A title game last fall, is expected to battle sophomore Anthony Jennings for the starting position in preseason practice this summer.
Jennings completed nine of 17 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two pick sixes.
“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,” Miles said.
“I think both guys are good enough to be our quarterback. At times, I think the two guys played better than that in the spring. I think the game itself was a little more emotional because it was in the stadium.”
Both quarterbacks played for the White and Purple teams. Harris’ three touchdown passes were with the White team and his run was with the Purple. The White team won 42-14.
Harris tossed his first touchdown pass on a third-and-9 play when he found DeSean Smith over the middle for a 19-yard scoring strike to even the score at 7-7.
On the next series, Harris orchestrated an 11-play, 72-yard march which culminated with a 5-yard TD pass to fullback Conner Neighbors out of the backfield.
Key plays on the series were a 29-yard pass to Travin Dural and a 41-yard scamper by Harris.
Harris executed an 80-yard drive over the final three minutes of the half which featured a trio of third down conversations. He found Dural for a 21-yard touchdown on a fade route in the corner of the end zone on the final play to make it 28-7 White at halftime.
Harris found wide receivers Rob Bolden and John Diarse for 37-yard and 33-yard completions before scoring from 4 yards out for the Purple.
Here are a few comments from observers on the social media website Twitter about Harris.
“I feel 100 percent confident in my pre-spring prediction that Brandon Harris will be LSU’s starting QB,” Barrett Sallee, lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report.
“With three touchdown passes, true freshman Brandon Harris has certainly shown he can be LSU’s starter vs. Wisconsin in five months,” Will Weathers, managing editor of TigerBait.com.
“He’s inexperienced — and has a ways to go … but.. Brandon Harris has a lot of skills .. He’s going to be a very good SEC QB,” Ed Daniels, sports director, WGNO New Orleans.
LSU Sports Information contributed to this report.