Howard – the son of a former LSU quarterback, a former St. Thomas More star and one of the highest-rated quarterback prospects in the history of Louisiana recruiting – was expected to be the face of LSU’s future at the position.
Even after Jayden Daniels announced his return to LSU for 2023, many expected redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier – and not Howard – to enter the portal. Nussmeier nearly won the starting job heading into the 2022 campaign and in relief of an injured Daniels threw for 297 yards in the SEC Championship Game. Nussmeier, if he were to leave, seemed poised to earn a starting Power Five job at quarterback.
Howard was the No. 5 quarterback and No. 40 prospect in the nation from the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports Composite. He seemed to fully buy into LSU’s rebuild under coach Brian Kelly, telling The Advertiser in Nov. 2021, “he’s going to bring us to national championships.”
But Howard is likely gone. And left in his absence are questions as to who the Tigers’ quarterback will be moving forward.
Here’s a breakdown of what LSU’s future at quarterback could look like over the next four seasons.
Projected starter: Jayden Daniels, 5th-year Sr.
Backups: Garrett Nussmeier, R-So.; Rickie Collins, Fr.
Breakdown: Daniels coming back for another season after starting every game in 2022 means that he is the expected starter in 2023. Nussmeier showed out during the SEC Championship Game and split reps with Daniels in the Citrus Bowl, but the job is still Daniels’s to lose.
“There’s no quarterback controversy,” Kelly said following the Citrus Bowl. “Jayden is our No. 1 quarterback.”
Either way, LSU should feel comfortable heading into next season projected to have two quarterbacks who are good enough to at least start at the Power Five level.
Collins, a four-star signee and the No. 16-ranked quarterback in the nation, will likely redshirt in 2023, similar to what the Tigers did with Howard this past season.
Projected starter: Garrett Nussmeier, R-Jr.
Backups: Rickie Collins, R-Fr.; Colin Hurley, Fr.
Breakdown: If Nussmeier stays at LSU through the end of this upcoming season, he would be the heavy favorite to be the starting quarterback in 2024. Collins with a year of development under his belt could be a quality backup.
Hurley, an LSU commit, is the No. 11 quarterback and a four-star recruit in the Class of 2024. Before reclassifying to the 2024 class, he was a five-star prospect in the Class of 2025. If Hurley ends up signing in a year, he would likely redshirt his first season.