LSU coach Les Miles: Brandon Harris is 'ready to be the quarterback'

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Brandon Harris seems to have established himself as the clear leader in LSU's quarterback competition.

Harris passed for 227 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions Saturday in LSU’s full scrimmage, handling the lion’s share of the snaps with the starting offense, according to coach Les Miles.

“Brandon probably had a sharper scrimmage the scrimmage before, but he still threw for [227] and threw for a good percentage,” Miles said. “I just felt like he’s kind of ready to be the quarterback.”

Miles said Purdue transfer Danny Etling completed 10-of-15 passes for 66 yards in the scrimmage, while redshirt freshman Justin McMillan was 5-for-8 for 34 yards. Among the leading receivers were tight ends Colin Jeter (four catches for 60 yards) and Foster Moreau (5-54), D.J. Chark (1-50) and early enrollee Dee Anderson, who caught four balls for 89 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown from Harris.

LSU’s offense totaled 649 yards of offense in the scrimmage (406 passing, 243 rushing), but Miles had good things to say about his defense. The level of competition, he said, reminded him of what he has seen in the past from his most successful teams.

“This was a really good outing for improvement. You could see guys really making strides,” Miles said. “I liked it. I’m sure that I’ll see the film and there’ll be some corrections that need to be made, but to this point it’s the kind of scrimmage that we’re used to having with some of our better teams.”

Linebacker Donnie Alexander was the leading tackler, Miles said, with seven or eight tackles. Arden Key had five tackles and two sacks and Davon Godchaux earned Miles’ praise for his performance along the defensive line.

With his secondary depleted by injuries and suspensions -- cornerbacks Tre'Davious White, Kevin Toliver and Donte Jackson are all currently unavailable -- Miles singled out several other defensive backs, including Ed Paris, Jamal Adams and early enrollee Saivion Smith.

“I really thought Saivion Smith played well,” said Miles, who also complimented Smith after last Saturday’s scrimmage. “We asked him to step up in there and play against some of the better receivers and he did so very, very well. I think he’s really had a nice spring.”

Starting safety Adams impressed his coach with a takedown of star running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 65 yards on seven attempts.

“I liked the crispness of the tackles. There were very few broken tackles,” Miles said. “It was guys winning with good technique and brought them down. Jamal Adams made a very nice tackle against Leonard Fournette. Just to be honest with you, I don’t know that I’ve seen a defender -- let alone in our uniform, in any uniform -- bring him down as well.”

Miles also addressed other off-the-field questions, noting that junior defensive end Sione Teuheman is indefinitely suspended. Teuhema has not been present for the portions of practice that were open to the media for at least the last week.

“Sione did not scrimmage and is not likely to scrimmage this point forward,” Miles said before later adding, “He is currently under suspension and we don’t know that that suspension will conclude ever.”

Teuhema participated in seven games last season, registering 13 tackles and two tackles for loss.

Miles added that offensive guard Will Clapp has a sports hernia that will take a couple of weeks to heal, forcing him to miss next Saturday’s spring game. He said White “could easily be back next week” for the spring game, although the senior cornerback was wearing a walking boot on his right foot after Thursday’s practice.