Bryce Underwood’s commitment solidifies LSU atop the QB market

Not that long ago, LSU was stuck in quarterback purgatory.

Throughout the Les Miles era, LSU was stacked on defense and loaded up on skill position players. But that QB spot, it was tricky.

After JaMarcus Russell was the best quarterback in the conference in 2006 and Matt Flynn led LSU to a national title in 2007, Miles struggled to find a signal caller that moved the needle.

Sure, guys like Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson won a lot of games and in another era, they would have made perfectly adequate QBs, but the sport began to change.

As the sport grew more and more friendly to offense, you needed a professional quarterback. That doesn’t mean you needed Cam Newton, but at least someone like AJ McCarron, who was a Heisman finalist and remains in the NFL today.

LSU didn’t have that. Zach Mettenberger’s 2013 campaign was a step up, but it became an outlier. In 2014, LSU sat dead last in the SEC in passing yards and completion percentage. The passing attack remained near the bottom in 2015 too.

In 2016, it got a little better with Danny Etling, but LSU was still in the bottom half of the conference in passing yards and completion percentage while getting shut out in the Alabama game.

Miles was fired after four games in 2016. Ed Orgeron took over and he knew the deal. He had to find LSU a quarterback.

Well, he did just that. Joe Burrow transferred in and went on to win 25 games, a national title, and a Heisman trophy.

For the first time in years, LSU had a game-changer at quarterback. The narrative was flipped.

Burrow left and even as LSU struggled as a team in 2020 and 2021, the passing attack did alright.

Then Jayden Daniels arrived with Brian Kelly in 2022. All Daniels did was become one of the most dynamic players in the country, helping LSU upset Alabama in 2022 and winning a Heisman in 2023 with a historically productive season.

That brings us to the present, where LSU just got even richer at the QB position. QB Bryce Underwood, the top player in the 2025 class, committed to LSU last Saturday.

It’s the first time in this era LSU’s landed a quarterback like Underwood. LSU’s signed some legit blue-chips, including Garrett Nussmeier, but this is the first time LSU’s landed the guy. I’m talking about someone with the hype of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.

Five years ago, LSU wasn’t even competing for these types. The true five-star QBs were all going to Alabama and Clemson, places with a track record of legit offenses.

With Underwood’s pledge, LSU’s 2025 class includes the top quarterback, wide receiver and running back. When recruits think of LSU now, they think of offense.

With Nussmeier on deck for 2024, the trend should continue. Offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock is gone, but LSU’s staff remains well-positioned with assistants Joe Sloan, Cortez Hankton, Frank Wilson and Brad Davis.

That’s what Underwood is buying in on. Recruits now see a program that’s developed two Heisman quarterbacks in the last five years.

LSU is out of quarterback purgatory, and perhaps there’s no bigger signal of that than Underwood’s commitment.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire