Posted by Chip Patterson
Jordan Jefferson has been a polarizing figure for LSU fans during his three year career in Baton Rouge. The Tigers offense has ranked near the bottom of the conference for the last two seasons, both with Jefferson at least taking a good portion of the snaps. In 2010, Jefferson found himself sitting series' out while Jarrett Lee took more snaps near the middle of the season. But Jefferson did finish strong, particularly his four touchdown performance against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.
But with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton run off to Maryland, head coach Les Miles has decided to bring in Steve Kragthorpe, formerly with Louisville and Tulsa. Additionally, the Tigers will have touted junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger. The former Georgia recruit will enter LSU with high expectations from a fan base that has become restless with an offense that has struggled and, some would say, cost them a shot at the SEC Championship.
Kragthorpe will likely open competition between Jefferson and Mettenberger, perhaps even choosing to use both. Traditionally, Kragthorpe has been known to run a pro-style offense. Glenn Guilbeau, of the Shreveport Times, suggests that this will be an advantage for Mettenberger - a drop back, pro style quarterback.
Mettenberger is certainly a talented quarterback with a lot of potential, his 6-5 230 pound frame is comparable to Arkansas' Ryan Mallett. But despite the advantages of his style matching Kragthorpe's system, Jefferson should have a fair shot at the starting job. Jefferson may have thrown 10 interceptions and only 7 touchdowns in 2010, but he did lead the Tigers to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory. With all the talent returning, LSU will likely be a preseason favorite in the SEC. There is no reason to jump the gun benching Jefferson, though if he starts throwing interceptions early Tiger fans will be calling for Mettenberger. They won't do so quietly either, LSU fans don't know "quiet."