What are fair expectations for LSU quarterback Garrett Nussmeier in 2024?

Following in the footsteps of a Heisman Trophy winner is hard, but that’s what LSU quarterback Garrett Nussmeier will attempt to do in 2024.

Nussmeier signed with LSU in 2021 and waited his turn. He didn’t hit the portal, passing up opportunities to start elsewhere in favor of remaining at LSU.

Setting expectations for a first-time starter is hard. Nussmeier provided a decent sample size after throwing 219 passes in three years at LSU and starting the bowl game against Wisconsin. He’s left us with few questions about his ability.

He can work all areas of the field and operate the offense in different game situations. Nuss has shown off the clutch gene too, leading LSU to a game-winning drive in the ReliaQuest Bowl. All of that was enough for oddsmakers to give Nussmeier the eighth-best odds to win the Heisman.

You get the point. Expectations are high. The fanbase expects Nussmeier to step in and continue the high-octane offense of 2023, even if the numbers are slightly less gaudy.

But while there aren’t many questions about Nussmeier’s talent level, some still remain about the offense. Nussmeier won’t be the only new thing on that side of the ball.

The Tigers have a new play-caller with Joe Sloan getting promoted after previous offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock left for Notre Dame. On the outside, LSU is replacing two of the best receivers in LSU history with Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. off to the NFL. At running back, LSU will be relying on a group of talented, but unproven underclassmen.

That can be tough for a first-time starter to deal with. But for all the changes, there’s plenty of continuity. Sloan was Nussmeier’s position coach for two years prior to the promotion. Sloan along with co-offensive coordinator Cortez Hankton have been integral parts of the offense since the staff arrived in 2022.

Up front, LSU returns one of the best offensive lines in the country with the potential first-round picks at tackle and two veteran guards. Not many first-time starters get to play behind an offensive line of this caliber.

And despite the lack of returning production at receiver, LSU is talented at the position with veterans Kyren Lacy, Chris Hilton Jr. and CJ Daniels along with a deep tight-end group led by Mason Taylor.

Which brings us to the question: Are expectations too high?

In short, probably not. If the bowl game was any indication, another big year is in store for the LSU offense.

Expecting Nussmeier to put up numbers similar to Jayden Daniels and Joe Burrow might be a bit much, but he doesn’t need to win the Heisman to be an effective quarterback.

It’s been a long time since LSU seamlessly transitioned from quarterback to quarterback, especially one that started their career at LSU like Nussmeier did, but right now, the Tigers appear on track to continue their offensive momentum.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire