LSU’s quarterback competition is indeed getting a new face.
Joe Burrow, the graduate transfer from Ohio State, has chosen LSU over Cincinnati, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, adding himself to a hotly competitive starting quarterback battle.
Burrow is immediately eligible and has two years of eligibility remaining as a redshirt junior. A 6-3, 215-pound former four-star prospect out of Ohio, Burrow presents a serious challenge to the three quarterbacks competing to replace Danny Etling as LSU’s starter.
Redshirt junior Justin McMillan, sophomore Myles Brennan and redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse battled to what coach Ed Orgeron called an “even” draw during spring practice. The competition is expected to extend into preseason camp, and Orgeron has said he could play two quarterbacks during the season.
Burrow’s addition could mean one of the three current QBs is planning to leave the program, something Orgeron suggested earlier this spring as a reason he’d sign a transfer quarterback.
McMillan is a fourth-year player as a redshirt junior, and he’s set to graduate in July.
“If a quarterback would leave, we’d need another quarterback with only two quarterbacks on the roster," Orgeron said at a speaking engagement May 2 in Houston. "As far as I know, no one is planning on leaving. They’re all competing for the starting job. I think everybody’s happy. We have some needs at several positions. We want to see who’s out there.”
Burrow chose the Tigers over Cincinnati, somewhat of a geographic upset.
Burrow is from The Plains, Ohio, a town that sits 160 miles east of Cincinnati. His father, Jimmy, is the defensive coordinator at Ohio University, near The Plains. Also, Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell has a connection with Burrow from his days as an assistant at Ohio State.
He visited the Bearcats campus last Thursday before a two-day visit to Baton Rouge. Burrow, his father and brother toured campus, athletic facilities and met with coaches as the Tigers sought to add an experienced and talented arm to the quarterback room with their one open scholarship in the 2018 signing class.
Stanford transfer Terrence Alexander, also a graduate transfer, became the 24th member of the 2018 group when he signed last month. Burrow rounds out the class, adding a more experienced and once-highly touted arm to the quarterback room.
Burrow spent the past three years at Ohio State in a reserve role. He competed this spring with Dwayne Haskins to be the starting quarterback to replace J.T. Barrett. A broken thumb in Burrow's throwing hand prevented him from battling for the backup job last fall, giving way to Haskins.
Burrow had the best spring game of the quarterbacks, completing 15 of 22 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He's a former Ohio Mr. Football, rated out of Athens High as the nation's eighth-best dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports.