Louisiana State’s football program, which produced a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and a College Football Playoff championship last season, might have just found its next great signal-caller.
And it might not have happened without the University of Idaho.
Garrett Nussmeier, a four-star pro-style quarterback from Flower Mound’s Marcus High School (Texas), committed to the Tigers’ program on Monday. The 2021 graduate is the son of veteran coach Doug Nussmeier, a former All-American quarterback and Walter Payton Award winner at Idaho (1990-93) who currently instructs the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback room.
During a recent interview with 104.5 (FM) ESPN Baton Rouge and 100.3 (FM) ESPN New Orleans morning show “Off the Bench,” Garrett Nussmeier pointed out a Vandal connection at LSU that might have provided the ultimate nudge — first-year Tigers passing-game coordinator Scott Linehan.
“... (He) was my dad’s offensive coordinator at the University of Idaho, and you know, is a good family friend of ours,” Nussmeier said of Linehan, an Idaho quarterback from 1982-86 and the father of recent Idaho standout quarterback Matt Linehan. Scott Linehan was a two-stint Vandals coach, heading the receiving corps from 1989-90 before two seasons as the offensive coordinator from 1992-93.
That was at the outset of a long coaching career for Scott Linehan, who most recently was the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator from 2015-18, a span during which he reconnected with Doug Nussmeier, his former college quarterback who was then Dallas’ tight ends coach.
Nussmeier and Linehan were quarterbacks coach and head coach, respectively, with the St. Louis Rams from 2006-07.
As a junior, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Garrett Nussmeier — who ranks as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the country, according to 247Sports.com — threw for 3,788 yards, with 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on a 67 percent completion rate.
He told “Off the Bench” that LSU and coach Ed Orgeron had been recruiting him the longest and most fervently, and Louisiana is an adopted home of sorts for the family. In 1994, Doug Nussmeier was a fourth-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, with whom he played for four seasons.
“I’ve seen purple and gold all my life,” said Garrett Nussmeier, whose commitment boosted LSU’s class into the nation’s top 10.
LSU’s dynamic offense also was easy to like. In 2019, the Tigers enjoyed a record-breaking season with Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, the NFL draft’s first-overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.
In a couple of seasons, it’s possible one of the Football Bowl Subdivision’s top teams will feature a Nussmeier coached by a Linehan, in an offense with some schemes modeled after those of celebrated by former Idaho coach Dennis Erickson, who Linehan has said is a considerable influence on his coaching style.
“I’m looking forward to getting coached by both of them,” Nussmeier told Rivals.com, referring to Linehan and LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger. “That offense is unbelievable. It’s ahead of the game. Hopefully, I can learn it and get it to its max potential.”
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