Myles Brennan's job in 2020 is to simply be the "best Myles Brennan.” That's the sentiment that his head coach and offensive coordinator have repeatedly relayed to the public as he prepares for his first full season behind center.
There's no other way of putting it: the junior takes over the most daunting position in all of college football after the historic performance just displayed by Joe Burrow. To reach those kind of expectations with so much roster turnover and the quarantine times we're living in is an unfair ask of Brennan.
But just what should fans expect from Brennan in 2020? Let's start with what we know. We know that it's been three years of waiting as he not only sat behind Burrow, but he needed to prove he could add the necessary weight required with the beating he'll take at the SEC level.
Orgeron often likes to joke that Brennan came to LSU a "soaking 180 pounds." The Tigers head coach has commended Brennan for his dedication in the weight room even when it wasn't always easy.
"He's been around us, he's paid his dues and I'm so proud of Myles," Orgeron said in an interview last week on WWL radio. "The days of transfer portal, you know Myles said 'hey coach, I'm a Tiger, I'm staying here' and not many quarterbacks do that. He's taking a leadership role, I feel comfortable with Myles right now that he's going to have an excellent year."
If the plan from the NCAA and conference leaders unfolds like Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger reported last week, LSU will be back on the field in mid-July for a two-week "OTA" followed by a four-week camp. That's when we'll learn exactly what kind of steps Brennan has taken in his game.
He has thrown for 600 yards and two touchdowns in the limited action he's seen throughout his three years with the program. How he gels with receivers Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall, Racey McMath and Arik Gilbert during the offseason will be the most important goal to accomplish.
With those kinds of weapons, it's not a stretch to think Brennan could surpass the 4,000-yard mark and throw in the 30-touchdown range. Off the sheer volume of throws Brennan could potentially have this season, those numbers and the talent around him feel like comfortable predictions.
In the first few spring practices before everything was shut down, Ensminger was extremely impressed with Brennan's on-field command and how he led the offense at the line of scrimmage.
“I saw in the first few practices of spring that his demeanor at the line of scrimmage, his checks at the line of scrimmage, his presence in the pocket was better, everything about him was good," Ensminger said during the Coaches Caravan.
That pocket presence is what turned Burrow into an elite college quarterback and Brennan will need to be similar in that aspect, particularly with still so many unknowns about the offensive line. It'll be imperative for the coaching staff to settle on an offensive line rotation as quickly as possible.
Orgeron said in an interview last week that right guard and center are the two biggest question marks in terms of who projects to be the starters. The coaching staff has long been impressed with Dare Rosenthal at left tackle, Ed Ingram at left guard and Austin Deculus at right tackle.
How those guys come together over the six-week period will be key to Brennan's ultimate success. If Brennan does find himself in scramble mode this season, he does have the ability to break off a decent run every now and then.
While that certainly won't be his go to in most cases, it's a nice last resort option for him to fall back on. His improved size and build will allow him to take on those hits, though it might behoove the coaching staff to send him over to Paul Mainieri and company for a few sliding lessons.
Nobody should expect a repeat performance of LSU's historic 2019 offense. It's simply unrealistic. But there's plenty of talent that still exists and Ensminger says it's not too late to hop on the bandwagon.
"We are tweaking our offense, but it’s not for the quarterback. We are tweaking our offense for our receivers and running backs," Ensminger said. "I am very confident that Myles is ready to lead this football team. Heck, join the bandwagon. Let’s go.”