Updates From Friday, Feb. 28
According to Stefanie Loh of The San Diego Union Tribune, Stephen Rivers has an interest in San Diego State:
On The Mighty 1090's Scott and B.R. Show on Wednesday, Aztecs' head coach Rocky Long confirmed that Stephen Rivers' people have contacted the Aztecs to inquire about their interest in Rivers.
"There's been some inquiries from people who know people who know people about whether we'd be interested (in Stephen Rivers)," Long said, adding that the Aztecs are not allowed to correspond directly with the quarterback until LSU notifies them of his release, and he contacts SDSU.
"We're interested. But the honest answer is that we don't have any scholarships."
LSU quarterback Stephen Rivers will transfer at the end of the semester away from Baton Rouge, according to a Wednesday report by Ron Higgins of NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune.
Although he's slated to graduate in May, the departing Tigers signal-caller is a third-year sophomore and thus will have two years of eligibility remaining. Rivers commented on his decision to leave coach Les Miles' LSU powerhouse, per Higgins' report (via BayouBengalsInsider.com):
It's hard, but it's a good thing at the same time. I want to get on the field and play, which I haven't done much since high school except for a few snaps here and there.
I had a great three years here. I haven't got on the field as much as I wanted to, but I really enjoyed my time here. There's no bad blood. I hate to be leaving, but sometimes you've got to do what's best for you.
Rivers indicated that he hadn't narrowed down a list of schools that he's looking for. However, his brother, San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers, will help him seek out the best new destination:
Is Stephen Rivers a future starting QB for a big-time program?
The stellar play of backup QB Anthony Jennings also resulted in Rivers sliding to third on the depth chart. When Mettenberger tore his ACL late in the year, Jennings came in to relieve him, leading a comeback win over Arkansas and then winning the Outback Bowl over Iowa.
Jennings' return was another development that may have prompted Rivers' departure, which had to be tough given what Rivers acknowledged was a strong relationship between the two young quarterbacks.
LSU's dual-threat QB Brandon Harris got to know Rivers a little bit and wished him well upon hearing Wednesday's news:
Best to luck to Stephen Rivers on where ever he decides to go. For the little time I've been at LSU he's been a great person!— bharris (@bharrisqb1) February 20, 2014
It appears the short-term goal for Rivers is just to get a lot more playing time at his next collegiate destination. The objective is reasonable, since he's thrown just two passes in his career.
But if the reaching the pros is the ultimate goal, Rivers had a huge advantage being coached in Baton Rouge by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who has an extensive NFL coaching resume. Cameron's pro-style system fit Rivers' skill set very well. Perhaps Rivers can take what he learned from working with Cameron to his next landing spot.
Rivers stands at 6'8", which allows him to see the entire field. Since he's had limited reps in game situations, it remains to be seen whether or not he has the ability to go through his progressions and make good decisions.
Rivers uneventful tenure at LSU shouldn't define him as a player. Because of Cameron's tutelage, it's doubtful that he will fade into obscurity, unlikely that he will continue to struggle for playing time. The future is bright for Rivers as he seeks out a starting spot elsewhere in college football. Still, he is leaving behind a strong SEC program and is taking a risk in doing so.