The Tigers have been very busy in the portal thus far landing 6 commitments. However, all have been on the defensive side of the ball. Today, the offense gets in on the action with a move that’s likely to raise some eyebrows across the conference.
Former LSU quarterback T.J. Finley, who started 5 games for the Bayou Bengals last fall, is headed to the Plains.
Finley chose Auburn over Alabama, Houston and Penn State.
Following Myles Brennan’s injury, the former 3-star out of Ponchatoula, Louisiana took over as the starting quarterback. He dazzled in his debut against South Carolina completing 81% of his passes for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also scored a TD on the ground via QB sneak on 4th & goal. It was an impressive performance that left LSU fans buzzing as the Tigers made a trek north to Jordan-Hare.
His 2nd start would go nowhere near as well. After a scoreless first things snowballed badly for the true freshman as he threw a near pick 6, lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and then had a pass batted at the line of scrimmage and picked off. The result was a 48-11 beatdown and the end of the honey moon for the young freshman.
He bounced back with a close win over Arkansas though his numbers were nowhere near as good as they were against the Gamebocks before crashing back down to earth again in College Station. Eventually, true freshman Max Johnson took over and lead LSU to two victories to close out the year including an upset win in the Swamp over Florida.
Following spring practice where Finley appeared to be sitting #3 on the depth chart behind Brennan and Johnson, he elected to hit the portal. Auburn very quickly pounced on the opportunity and landed their man today.
All spring it was reported that the new staff was interested in bringing in another quarterback to compete with Nix for the starting spot and provide better depth heading into the 2021 campaign. They’ve accomplished that goal by landing Finley who will have an opportunity to unseat Nix during fall camp. No matter who wins the job though Auburn now has two quarterbacks with SEC experience and now won’t have to throw Dematrius Davis into the fire too early or rely on Grant Loy if Nix were to go down.
Finley is a big kid with a big arm possessing incredible potential. But like Bo, inconsistency has plagued Finley not just in his first season in the SEC but in high school as well where he completed under 50% of his passes as a junior. He’s a project who needs to be developed but that’s exactly what Bryan Harsin and Mike Bobo have a history of doing. They now have two QBs on the roster with all the tools to be successful but have yet to prove they can consistently apply those tools on every single snap. Whichever QB can finally get over that hump will be the Tigers’ starter and likely have a very successful career. Here’s to hoping it clicks with both and the Tigers are set at this position for years to come.
War Eagle T.J.!