Clemson QB room once again among the best in the country


by - Senior Writer -
Lawrence (16) and Uiagaelei (5) are two of the Tigers' impressive signal-callers.
Lawrence (16) and Uiagaelei (5) are two of the Tigers' impressive signal-callers.

When football returns and life gets back to normal, the Clemson coaching staff will have what is probably the best three-deep quarterback room in the ACC, if not the country.

We all know what starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence can do. All he’s done is lead Clemson to two National Championship games in two years and, if football is played this season, will be one of the reasons the Tigers are the favorite to make it back to the title game again this season.

Backup quarterback Taisun Phommachanh looked like a different player this spring – he was noticeably bigger and showed command of the offense. He is looking to not only build on last year’s redshirt season but claim the No. 2 spot outright from talented freshman DJ Uiagalelei.

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott met with the media before the end of spring practice and talked about his quarterback situation.

"I was telling somebody the other night, it's like, 'OK I was here with Tajh. Man. And then Deshaun. Man. And then Trevor,” Elliott said. “And then you see an arm like D.J.'s... and it's just unbelievable the way these young quarterbacks are coming in just from a poise standpoint. I mean he's so poised in the pocket. He's still got a lot to learn, but I tell you what, Taisun (Phommachanh) a year ago this time was struggling with motions and whatnot. But D.J. just looks calm and collected. And when that ball come off his hand, it comes off."

Elliott said that he not only doesn’t mind the quarterbacks working with coaches outside of a school coaching staff, he thinks it’s a big help .

"Having these quarterbacks working with guys outside of their high school, and I know their high school coaches might not like it,” Elliott said. “But if they supplement it the right way, I think that's what contributing to the development of these guys physically and mentally."

Elliott then said he agreed with the assessment that Phommachanh looked different this spring.

"Taisun is probably a guy that gets lost in the middle right there. He looks like a different dude," Elliott said. "He's making all the right reads, all the right throws, he looks in command of the system. I've seen increased urgency, confidence, just his command. Like I said, this time last year, he was struggling to know which way the motion was coming from as we installed and now it's just second nature.

“He can reset protections. He can do all those things. So you just see a new confidence. And then in his down time, you pop your head in the film room, and he's in there. He's just focused on taking advantage of his opportunities with the opportunities he has."

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