It would seem as though the ability to feel one’s legs would be somewhat of a prerequisite to the quarterback at a major college football program.
Danny Etling might disagree.
New LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada said Friday on “Off the Bench” on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge that Etling played with a left leg notably weakened by the nerve pain from a lower back injury he dealt with last season.
“He couldn’t feel his leg,” said Canada, who was hired last December.
Etling underwent back surgery on April 24, two days after the conclusion of LSU’s spring practice. At least as of late last month, he was still rehabbing from it, primarily to help strength his left leg.
“He fought through a situation where he didn’t look comfortable and really wasn’t comfortable all last fall,” Canada said. “There’s always a reason in life. Things happen and if you just ask why, you’d find out.”
Etling started the final 10 games of the season in 2016 after taking over as starter in place of Brandon Harris in the Tigers’ second game of the season. He finished the year with 2,123 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions as LSU went 8-4.
At the SEC spring meetings on May 31, Etling said he felt the best he had in over a year following the surgery.
“What a tremendous competitor,” Canada said. “What a tremendous leader who said, ‘I’m not going to take the spring off and miss learning this new system.’”
Etling, though, remains a part of a still ongoing quarterback competition for the starting job this season. Sophomore Justin McMillan, redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott, and true freshmen Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan are the other players competing for it.
Still, LSU coach Ed Orgeron has said that Etling, a senior this fall, has had the edge in the competition and likely would be the starter again this season.
(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)
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