ESPN's Davis says Swinney compared Trevor Lawrence to Cam Newton
|Monday, December 10, 2018, 1:32 PM- -|
ATLANTA, GA – ESPN’s Rece Davis spent time with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney last year, and it was during one conversation between the two that Swinney compared current Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence to current Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Lawrence took over as Clemson’s starter four games into the season, but according to Davis, Swinney knew he had something special in Lawrence before the talented freshman ever stepped foot on campus. It took Davis a while longer to get on board, but now he sees what Swinney saw last year.
“I have been surprised, but only in a sense that I didn't anticipate it being his show totally with Kelly Bryant,” Davis told TigerNet. “But before Trevor ever stepped on campus, I was having a conversation with Dabo and we were just talking about recruiting and different guys and he goes, ‘Have you seen this quarterback I've got?’ And then he said, ‘I don't know exactly who to compare him to. He said maybe because of his size and his little bit of a long stride, but maybe Cam Newton or something like that.’ And I thought, man, that's pretty high praise now.”
Lawrence showed off his speed during the ACC Championship Game, sprinting down the field on Travis Etienne’s first-play touchdown run at 20.6 MPH. After rushing for just 58 yards through the season’s first 10 games, Lawrence has rushed for 86 yards over the last three, averaging 8.6 yards per carry.
“He's obviously not as thick as Cam and up to this point hasn't proven to be the same type of runner that Cam was, but it's not a crazy comparison in terms of effect and just pure foot speed. He's a long strider like Cam,” Davis said. “He’s got a big arm and the ball comes out of his hand and it just looks beautiful. It looks like it's supposed to.”
Davis said he watched an early-season practice and Lawrence showed then that a move would be made to make him the starter at some point.
“Kirk and I did an early season game. We did the Clemson at Texas A&M game and I went down to practice and you know, Kelly was still starting,” Davis said. “In fact, in that particular game, Kelly saved them because Trevor, for the only time I saw this season, I don't want to say rattled because he's pretty unflappable, but he got a little out of sorts and the Texas A&M defensive line can do that to you.
“But watching him in practice, you could see that you didn't know when the day was going to come, but it was obvious that it was going to happen, that he was going to be the guy because you just can’t keep that type of talent down. He's a remarkable young player.”