QB battle: Lawrence shows poise, Brice has swag and Johnson off to a hot start
|Monday, March 5, 2018, 8:23 PM- -|
CLEMSON – The Clemson coaching staff has had to tweak the spring practice schedule in an effort to get a good look at all four quarterbacks that are competing for a starting job, and head coach Dabo Swinney said all three youngsters are showing capable of competing for the starting job.
Starter Kelly Bryant has had a solid start to camp, but the coaches know what Bryant can do. And while Bryant is getting plenty of reps, so are sophomore Hunter Johnson, redshirt freshman Chase Brice and true freshman Trevor Lawrence, who enrolled in school in January.
Swinney said Lawrence has been as good as advertised.
“He's (Lawrence) done great. You know, we have tweaked our practice schedule as far as how we do some of our stuff, our 7-on-7 in particular,” Swinney said. “We are trying to get all four of those guys reps, and that's been really good because we have a lot of bodies. We have been able to have enough defensive backs - we are a little short on corners - but we've had enough to have four groups. The main purpose of that is to get all of the quarterbacks a ton of reps. But he's done a really nice job. He's very poised. Obviously, he is very skilled but he has a ton of poise, and so far he has really demonstrated a good demeanor, and he's picking up things well. It's a good group.”
Johnson completed 21-of-27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in limited duty last season, and Swinney says Johnson is coming on fast.
“Hunter is light years ahead of where he was last year,” Swinney said. “I felt like last year we saw his skill but the game was fast and he was processing a lot with a lot to think about. He got better all year long and the game slowed down for him. He is having a heck of a spring. He's having a good start.”
Swinney says that Brice is a winner with a certain swag.
“Chase is just a sponge, and Chase has got a swag to him, he really does,” he said. “Sometimes he might not look the prettiest, but he is incredibly effective. He has a big arm and can throw the ball from a lot of different launch points. He's a winner, man. He's a winner. He has a great belief in himself and he is one of those natural leaders.
“We have four guys that are fun to work with, and Kelly is on top but we will continue to let these guys compete, and we will see how it all shakes out. But it's a good situation.”