Meet the new kid: Trevor Lawrence
|Friday, February 2, 2018, 8:09 AM- -|
Trevor Lawrence put up impressive numbers throughout his high school career and recruiting analysts have been high on Lawrence’s potential since the beginning. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is also a big fan.
Lawrence enrolled in Clemson in January, and in the first part of a series looking at the early enrollees, we examine what Lawrence (the No. 1-rated recruit nationally by some services) might mean for the Tigers this season.
WHAT CLEMSON IS GETTING IN LAWRENCE
“He’s got everything that you look for, you could possibly want. He’s just been a natural from Day 1, all the way from the ninth grade on,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s got unbelievable arm talent. That’s pretty easy to see when you watch him, but I think he’s just a very poised guy that is a great competitor… He’s been a great leader for his program. He’s a very good student, and just a guy that I think knows what he wants and is willing to work for it.”
Lawrence is known as a pocket passer, but the coaches and anyone who has watched him play agree that he can make plays with his legs as well. That’s an important part of the Clemson offense, and while the coaches wouldn’t call 10 or more designed runs per game for Lawrence like they have others, he has the ability to run for first downs and escape pressure.
When it comes to throwing the football, Lawrence is one of the best young high school players I’ve ever seen. He can throw on the run, he can throw from the pocket, he can throw to the sideline, he can throw over the middle, he can hit the short pass with touch and accuracy and he can hit the long ball with touch and accuracy.
“He’s just so physically developed for a young guy. Deshaun (Watson) was obviously pretty special coming out of Georgia… He’s just way ahead of Deshaun from a physical standpoint,” Swinney said. “We’ll see where he is mentally and how he transitions and all that once he gets here and we start coaching. I don’t think that you really know that until you start coaching a guy, but he’s been well prepared, well groomed.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
Look for Lawrence to get plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents in the spring. The guess here – and it’s an easy guess – is that incumbent Kelly Bryant will exit the spring as the starter. However, Lawrence, Hunter Johnson and Chase Brice will all get a chance to show they can run the offense.
The battle in the spring might be for the No. 2 spot, which in turn leads to a battle in fall camp and the early part of the season for a starting spot.
“We’ve got good players here. They all understand competition. Trevor committed last December and has been one of the most low maintenance recruits I’ve ever been around,” Swinney said. “He’s known what he wants to do, and he’s excited about having an opportunity to come in here and compete. My job is to go recruit the best players that I can recruit for Clemson University, and then when they get here challenge them, grow them, mature them, develop them into being the best version of themselves. Competition is going to bring out the best in every one, and at the end of the day somebody’s going to win the job. You’re going to have starters. You’re going to have backups. And that’s life. That’s the way it is. So we have a process in place. You go through it and let the chips fall where they may.”
Playing time prediction
Lawrence is way too talented to leave on the bench for long. I can see a redshirt IF Bryant secures the starting spot and the older player prove the have a grasp on the offense. But I’ve heard from sources within the program that Swinney is excited to see what Lawrence can do. Clemson has the tools to make another run at the College Football Playoff next season, but the offense has to get better. Lawrence could be a big part of that.