QB guru says Trevor Lawrence is "in his own realm"
|Monday, May 4, 2020, 8:01 AM- -|
The great ones lead by example. Some quarterbacks are known for their pregame smack talk, others can dance with their teammates during warm-ups, and others are known for their fiery theatrics once the ball is snapped. The great ones look you in the eye and just go beat you.
Quarterback guru Ron Veal says Trevor Lawrence is one of the great ones.
Veal is a former quarterback at the University of Arizona who also spent time in the NFL. After he retired from the game, he realized he still had a lot to give and started coaching. Veal resides in the Atlanta area these days and in 2017 met Lawrence and current Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
When the Fiesta Bowl matchup between Clemson and Ohio State was announced, Veal bought tickets and hopped a flight to Phoenix to watch his young proteges. Behind the gritty performance of Lawrence, Clemson edged Ohio State 29-23 to advance to the title game against LSU. Fields was leading the Buckeyes on a late drive but was intercepted by Nolan Turner in the endzone to seal the Clemson victory.
“I am not their dad but I was super proud like a father would be,” Veal told TigerNet. “The only hurtful part was that I knew one of them had to take the L, and the way the L went down was kind of hard. But I was overjoyed and excited to have people pulling for them.”
Lawrence completed 18 of 33 attempts with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He added a career-best 107 rushing yards on 16 carries, highlighted by a 67-yard scoring run to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 16-14 heading into halftime.
“I always knew he was athletic to the point where he can get out of trouble,” Veal said. “I have to be honest, I didn't know he could stretch it out like that, to get six from that distance. That kind of surprised all of us, I imagine.”
Veal said Lawrence separated himself from the rest of the pack after a vicious second-quarter hit that knocked him from the game for a few plays. Lawrence returned with a vengeance.
“He leads by example. He doesn't get rattled and he isn't going to let anything rattle him. In the Ohio State game, they were talking a little noise to him,” Veal said. “And when he got stroked, that hit that put him on the ground, he said that is when they were talking the most noise and were saying, 'We got him! We got him!' After that, his whole game changed. And you watch that game and that is when it changed. He didn't mouth off to them, he got up and played. And I think that is what separates the good ones from the great ones.”
Veal has been working during the pandemic – he has offered one-on-one instruction and told his quarterbacks they can bring a receiver. Social distancing is observed, and the balls are wiped down with disinfectant after each throw. That hasn’t stopped the players from knocking on his door, including Lawrence.
“We got together one time. He is working on getting himself back,” Veal said. “I didn't know they had nine practices, so I am sure they had more practices than anybody in the country. We were just working on some drops and sets and just getting loose. And then we will get back to it shortly.
“From looking at his film you think he does everything right. I think he wants to work on his base and going from the first read to the second read. He wants to have that great base so he can deliver the ball a little quicker in tight windows.”
Veal has worked with hundreds if not thousands of quarterbacks, but said Lawrence can’t be compared to anyone else.
“I think he is in his own realm. He is a lanky kid that can spin the ball,” he said. “Now he has bulk. size, and strength. So that adds to it. And he has decent speed. He has the package. I think he is more athletic than people give him credit for. Trevor is just Trevor.”
One throw stands out – the bullet Lawrence threw to Hunter Renfrow in the corner of the end zone at Georgia Tech in 2018.
“That Georgia Tech throw to Hunter Renfrow where he was going to his left. To use the kids' words, that was sick. That was ridiculous. It was a special throw,” Veal said. “That was the one that knocked me backwards because you didn't think he could get his body in that position to make that throw from there. From a full sprint. No. That is what I am talking about when I say the athleticism is there.”
In other words, Lawrence is exactly what the NFL looks for in a quarterback.
“I think he is the real deal,” Veal said. “When they see him he has the size, he can make all the throws, and he has a high intelligence level. He is also very durable and tough. He checks the boxes in all of those categories.”