Before transferring from LSU, quarterback Brandon Harris opened up about his time with the Tigers and why he chose to join Larry Fedora at North Carolina for his final season of eligibility in a Q&A with The Advocate

Harris came to LSU from Bossier City with a lot of hype (a top-100, four-star recruit) and expectations that he could end the Tigers’ run of quarterback struggles under Les Miles. Harris made his debut as a true freshman in 2014 as as backup to Anthony Jennings, then started all of 2015 with mixed results -- 53.6 percent passing, 13 touchdowns, six interceptions -- before getting replaced early in the 2016 season by Danny Etling

Earlier this month, Harris chose the Tar Heels over Texas, Baylor, Temple, Oregon and others. He’ll finish school in late June and join the Tar Heels prior to fall camp with an undergraduate degree and immediate eligibility for 2017. Redshirt sophomore Nathan Elliott and redshirt freshman Chaz Surratt are the top options to replace Mitch Trubisky in Chapel Hill right now, but neither have any significant game experience. 

It should be noted that just because Harris has starting experience and the skill set to thrive in Fedora’s system doesn’t mean we should pencil him in as QB1. Fedora even made Trubisky, soon to be a first round NFL Draft pick, fight for snaps for years behind Marquise Williams before getting the permanent call-up and the UNC coach has been clear that no promises were made in the recruiting process.

He was, however, promised that he’d throw “more than 16 times a game.”

“[Fedora] has got a number of quarterbacks who have been successful over a career. He made me feel wanted. I couldn’t pass it up,” Harris told The Advocate. “He assured me I was going to throw it more than 16 times a game and maybe even during the first quarter.”

More passes and a spread system will be a better fit for Harris, who achieved that blue-chip status by playing in a spread system in high school. 247Sports’ Barton Simmons believes that North Carolina is a great fit for Harris and “this is one of the best quarterback transfer moves for all parties that we’ve seen in this cycle.”

 “Harris was never a fit for what LSU did under Les Miles and Cam Cameron,” Simmons wrote this week on 247Sports. “He’s a rhythm passer, a volume passer. He was a spread guy in high school and should have been a spread guy in college.”

A few more highlights from Harris’ Q&A

Harris on the Alabama-LSU dynamic, and fans’ expectations: “I think LSU wants the same dominance that Alabama has. Personally, I think they should want that. That’s the expectation that we should have for ourselves. I think that’s the expectation we do have for ourselves. Why do we keep falling short? I don’t know, but I think now they’ll get over that hump. I don’t know if it will happen this year. I don’t know if it will happen next year, but I think the level of dominance will begin, probably, again.”

Statistical goals for 2017: “I set high standards for myself: 3,500-plus yards, maybe 4,000. Very easily done in Larry Fedora’s offense because I know it’s an offense where I’m going to get to throw it a lot. Thirty-plus touchdowns and eight rushing, possibly.” 

Frustrations and reflections on Harris’ time at LSU: “The most frustrating part was the opportunity we had and the talent we had, not being able to win and win an SEC championship, ultimately get into the playoffs and win a national championship … we work hard. Coach (Tommy) Moffitt trains us hard throughout the offseason. I feel like every single year … I don’t think anything physical has every been questioned.

“What hurts the most is not having the opportunity to bring back a championship to here in Louisiana. Obviously, it means a lot to me being a Louisiana kid, knowing what LSU means to this state.”