The LSU Tigers have had their ups and downs with quarterbacks over the last few seasons. Tiger fans have called for Jarrett Lee’s head after he had a horrible start to his career, then they called for Jordan Jefferson’s head after he allegedly curb-stomped a guy outside of a Baton Rouge bar. Then the BCS Championship game took place and Tiger fans were just utterly befuddled. They should have been. Their coach left a guy in that couldn’t get anything going with another guy on the bench that had led the Tigers to an 8-0 schedule.
Now the Tigers are ready to move on from the Leefferson era and on to the era of the Mettsiah.
Zach Mettenberger hasn’t had the easiest road though. Recruited by Georgia, Mettenberger signed with the Bulldogs in 2009 as a 4 star recruit along with current Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.
In April of 2010, Mettenberger was dismissed from the team by coach Mark Richt after two off-field incidents. A bar fight that led to his arrest and five misdemeanor charges, and one sexual battery charge put Mettenberger in a spot he didn’t see himself in.
“It’s something I think about every day,” Mettenberger said. “It’s definitely something I don’t want to be (in) that situation again. But at the same time, God had his plan for me, and it’s worked out for the best. Hopefully I can take this opportunity and run with it.”
After his dismissal, he transferred to Butler Community College in Kansas where he realized he had some issues that needed fixing.
“That’s a pretty depressing 18-hour drive from Athens, Ga., going through cornfields and what-not,” Mettenberger said. “It was tough. It was a tough time in my life. But junior college ball made me love the game again.”
That year gave him a renewed interest in the game and also a chance to prove that he could turn around and compete for a big school again.
Luckily for Mettenberger, Les Miles kept an eye on him and was willing to overlook the mistakes in his past saying “people make mistakes.”
“It’s obvious he understands the great opportunity he has,” he said. “I don’t think he expects it. He’s been a very dependable, hard-working man.”
Miles saw that Mettenberger was destroying the level of competition he was playing against putting up 32 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
After Mettenberger transferred in to LSU, where he knew he would have to wait his turn behind two seniors in Jefferson and Lee. He did get into a few games and threw 11 passes.
Now that Jarrett and Lee and Jordan Jefferson have moved on from the Tigers, Mettenberger will be “the guy”.
“Being the guy is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” he said. “I’ve been ready since I was six years old and started playing football.”
Another positive for Tiger fans to look forward to is Mettenberger’s ability to actually get the ball down the field, which Miles addressed at SEC Media days.
“The only difference is the quarterback won’t run the ball as much,” he said. “And there will be more deep throws. He can make all the throws.
“I like to throw the ball. I’m a balance guy.”
Previously: This is the next LSU starting quarterback