Trevor Lawrence: Sunday performance shows his dominant side
|Monday, July 3, 2017, 7:53 AM- -|
BEAVERTON, OR – Trevor Lawrence took over as the nation’s top-ranked player last July, and he’s sat atop the rankings for a year. At Nike’s The Opening this week at Nike World Headquarters, he’s done nothing to dispel the notion that he’s worthy of the ranking.
According to industry insiders, however, his reign might be at an end.
Lawrence has been sharp all week, and he put on a show Sunday afternoon during 7-on-7 play. However, I spoke with several of the coaches and scouts who have taken in the proceedings this week, and they all agree that Justin Fields could take the top spot after an impressive showing this week.
Fields is the nation’s number one-ranked dual-threat quarterback out of Kennesaw, Georgia, a quick 25-minute ride from Lawrence and Cartersville. Fields currently ranks No. 3 overall entering July, but exiting Nike’s ‘The Opening’ camp going on right now, he could emerge even higher.
Fields recently de-committed from Penn St., and Alabama, Florida, Auburn and Florida St. appear to be his top four suitors. I spoke with one coach who held his thumb and index finger about an inch apart to indicate the narrow difference between the two quarterbacks this week, with Fields holding a slight edge.
Again, however, I have to reiterate that Lawrence has been extremely sharp, and we caught a glimpse of what makes him so special in the afternoon session.
Lawrence didn’t start the 7-on-7 contest, giving way to Kentucky commit Jarren Williams. Lawrence’s Savage Pro team was already without the services of top receiver and Clemson target Justyn Ross (knee) and Miami tight end commit Will Mallory. Williams couldn’t get the team in the end zone, however, and Lawrence came on with his team leading 7-6.
His first play was a beautiful throw down the left sideline – hitting a wide receiver in stride – that covered 40 yards. Three plays later, he hit a receiver in the back of the end zone to complete Savage Pro’s first offensive touchdown (the first came on an interception).
On the next drive, Lawrence took check-downs on third down three different times to move the chains (a rare trait in a young player), and his efforts paid off with another touchdown as his team moved on with the win.
The only negative I’ve seen out of Lawrence this week (at least when he throws the football) is that he’s been let down by his receivers on more than one occasion. Some of the receivers look like they aren’t used to 30-yard throws coming in with the kind of zip Lawrence puts on the football.
We’ve watched a lot of the quarterbacks this week, and I believe Lawrence does the best job of any of them of using the entire field. He reads the defense and scans for the open receiver, not locking in on one particular receiver. That allows him to throw from sideline to sideline in a 7-on-7 situation, and he makes it look easy.
We will have more on Lawrence and The Opening Awards presentation as well as results from the lineman challenge later today.