In December’s SEC Championship Game, LSU fans got a taste of what redshirt freshman quarterback Garrett Nussmeier is capable of. It wasn’t perfect, but the youngster showcased his dynamic game and what the future could look like.
Nussmeier broke the record for most passing yards in the second half of a game in LSU history with 298 against Georgia.
Head Coach Brian Kelly walked away impressed with what his “gunslinger” was capable of. Despite a few mishaps here and there, his aggressive style of play was a major takeaway.
“He did some really good things. He’s called upon to come in and be aggressive, which he was,” Kelly said following the conference championship. “For a guy that’s coming in off not playing a lot of football, really pleased.
“Look, there’s a learning experience out there. There’s some throws that obviously he’d like to have back. Look, he’s got a quarterback mentality that he wants to be aggressive. As Malik said, he’s pushing the ball down the field, giving these guys a chance to make some plays down the field, and they did. Sometimes there are plays where they’re 50/50 balls, but he gives them a chance to make some plays. He did a nice job with that.”
It was clear Nussmeier fell back on sophomore wide receiver Malik Nabers to be his WR1 once in the game. Connecting with him on a number of deep balls, the trust Nussmeier had in Nabers was significant.
“I feel like Garrett gave us opportunities down the field, trusting us to make plays. We came out and made those plays,” Nabers said after the matchup against Georgia.
What does the immediate future look like for Nussmeier? All signs point to the youngster sitting behind Jayden Daniels one final time then taking the keys in 2024.
The decision by Daniels to return to Baton Rouge for another season surprised many, and certainly put a damper in the plans for this quarterback room, but to bring back an experienced signal-caller who has played in this system was key.
Looking ahead, Nussmeier is Brian Kelly’s guy. Walker Howard’s decision to depart LSU and take his talent to Ole Miss, rather than stick it out in Death Valley, could very well explain that Nussmeier is the expected starter in 2024, but again, it’s all speculation.