LSU Football: 5 Best Quarterbacks in Tiger History

Joe Burrow's performance against Texas has fans wondering if he will join this list

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow had a coming-out party in the Tigers 45-38 win over Texas last Saturday. His 471 passing yards are the second most in the program's history and the most against an AP-ranked opponent since 2002.

 

Part of the reason for the high number is the Tigers' switch from a run-first offense to a wide-open attack. Another is — well, as head coach Ed Orgeron put it: "Kid is a baller."

 

Can Burrow become one of the best quarterbacks in LSU history? We'll see. Here are the five all-time greats that he needs to surpass.

 

[Note: LSU's first great quarterback was Doc Fenton, but he played the position from 1908-09 when teams very rarely put the ball in the air so he is not on this list.]

 

5. Matt Mauck (2000-03)

Mauck came off the bench to beat Tennessee in the 2001 SEC Championship Game and led the team to a 5-1 start in 2002 before breaking his foot. He returned fully healthy in 2003 and set a school record with 28 touchdown passes as LSU won its first national championship since 1958.

 

4. Bert Jones (1969-72)

Jones split starting duties with Buddy Lee and Paul Lyons and was not named the full-time starter until his senior year. He made the most of that season, leading the Tigers to a 9-2-1 season and becoming the program's first consensus All-American quarterback. Jones also surpassed Y.A. Tittle as the program's all-time leading passer.

 

3. JaMarcus Russell (2003-07)

Best remembered for being one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, Russell led the Tigers to an SEC West title in 2005. Then in 2006, he completed nearly 68 percent of his passes as LSU went 10-2, throttled Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, and finished the season ranked third. Although LSU was many writers' pick to win the national title in 2007 (and did), Russell skipped his senior year to enter the draft, where he was taken with the first pick.

 

2. Y.A. Tittle (1944-47)

The only quarterback on this list in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tittle was allowed to play immediately because the NCAA allowed freshman to play during World War II. He played tailback in LSU's single-wing attack, but he moved to quarterback when the team switched to the T formation in his sophomore season. Playing both offense and defense, Tittle earned first-team All-SEC honors in 1946 and '47 and left holding all of the school's passing records.

 

1. Tommy Hodson (1986-89)

LSU's all-time leading passer led the Tigers to SEC titles as a freshman and junior and a top-five finish as a sophomore. He was tops in the SEC in passing yards and touchdowns in three of his four years as a starter and became the first quarterback in conference history to throw for more than 8,000 yards and 60 touchdowns. Hodson also is the only player in LSU history to be named All-SEC in each of his four seasons.

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

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