Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson, forever linked in Georgia and Clemson?


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Lawrence and his coach (Joey King) looking at the scoreboard after he broke the record.
Lawrence and his coach (Joey King) looking at the scoreboard after he broke the record.

Deshaun Watson will forever have his name etched in the lore of Georgia high school football, and his name will forever be linked to Clemson’s National Championship season in 2016. Clemson quarterback commit Trevor Lawrence is rewriting Watson’s high school records and is good enough to one day put his name beside Watson’s in Death Valley.

The 5-star prospect out of Cartersville (GA) committed to Clemson last December, and much like Watson, Lawrence prefers to stay away from the spotlight and let his play on the field do the talking.

However, when you’re chasing the records set by Watson, now the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans, you’re bound to get a little attention. With a 22-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of Friday night’s game against Chapel Hill (GA), Lawrence became the state of Georgia’s all-time passing leader, knocking Watson and his career number of 13,077 yards into second place all-time.

E.J. Turner took the pass over the middle, broke a tackle and sprinted into the end zone. Carterville wound up winning the game 62-0, and Lawrence had another scoring toss that covered 21 yards to Turner, a 61-yarder to Jkobe Orr and a 30-yarder to Trey Holstein.

Cartersville head coach Joey King came out to the field after the record-breaker and embraced Lawrence, the game was stopped as an announcement was made and his teammates mobbed him on the sideline.

Lawrence didn’t play after the half, the eighth time in nine games he hasn't played the second half. Of his 13,255 career passing yards, 9,480 have come before halftime.

Another record could fall next week - the state record for total passing scores (155) is also held by Watson. Lawrence entered the night six touchdowns short of breaking the record, and he went on to pass for four scores, completing 17-of-23 passes for 283 yards to go up 49-0 in just one half of play.

He will go for Watson’s other record next week when Cartersville (9-0) closes its regular season at Troup County (La Grange).

The 6-foot-6 prospect has led Cartersville to 39-straight wins and back-to-back state titles, and he’s now 48-1 as a starter.

Lawrence entered the night completing 788-of-1,241 attempt (64 percent) for 12,972 yards and 150 touchdowns to just 21 interceptions. He’s also had an outstanding senior campaign - hitting on 73 percent of his throws for 2,360 yards and 30 touchdowns to one interception.

Cartersville head coach Joey King said that Friday was a special night.

“Trevor, when he came in, his first year here was my first year here,” King said after the game. “My first year here, he was just a rising freshman. So, to see the progress he’s made and to see how low-key and humble he’s remained through the whole thing, it makes it that much more special. I hugged his neck out on the field and told him I loved him, and he said, ‘I love you too, coach.’ I congratulated him on the accomplishment, and then to see the ovation that he got by our home fans, it was really, really special.”

*DAVID HOOD NOTE: “I was around Watson from the time he was a sophomore at Gainesville, and he was one of those players I called a “generational talent.” What set him apart from other talented players – there were some that were faster, some had bigger arms, some were bigger physically – was his poise, understanding of the game and ability to read a defense. With Watson, I kind of figured I wouldn’t see another for several years.

Of course, I was wrong.

Lawrence is more of a polished passer than Watson at the same age. He’s not the running threat Watson was, but that’s because they are different athletes. Watson can run the read option and break loose for a long game. Lawrence likes to use his feet to buy time in the pocket and scan the field. More often than not, once a play breaks down, he will buy that time and then throw a rocket somewhere down the field.

But he can run for first downs when he has to, and he can run with authority. He also has that special poise and an understanding of what the defense is doing.

I loved watching Watson break the Georgia high school records, and I enjoyed all three years he spent at Clemson, taking the Tigers to back-to-back title games.

Watching Lawrence has been just as fun and will be when he arrives at Clemson."











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