Ask any recruiting analyst and there’s no doubt the 2018 class has two elite quarterbacks: Justin Fields and Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence. How those QBs are ranked is another story.
The collection of major recruiting sites re-ranked the 2018 prospects this month, as compiled by the 247Sports Composite. Rivals.com and Scout.com each have Lawrence as the No. 1 overall player, while 247Sports and ESPN favor Fields after a strong summer circuit. Crunching the numbers, 247Sports concludes that the two are tied in overall rating (0.9998), but gives the uncommitted Fields the nod as the new No. 1 overall.
“It’s such a close race and such a close distinction between the No. 1 quarterback in the country and the No. 1 player in the country,” Scout.com’s Allen Trieu said via a video breakdown. “We thought why not take in all of the information we can this fall and then make a decision from there. There’s no doubt that those two are 1-2 in some order. We just didn’t want to make that change because of one camp and throw out three years of on-field play.
“That’s not to say Justin Fields hasn’t done great things on the field as well, but we thought Trevor Lawrence has done everything he’s needed to do to have that No. 1 spot. We didn’t want him to be so easily knocked off that perch before real football games are played this fall.”
The 6-foot-6 Clemson pledge competes next in a nationally-televised game with Bartram Trail (Fla.) Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPN2).
Clemson ranks tied for fifth with Southern Cal in the percentage of its commits in the top-250 of the 247 Composite ratings (54.5 percent). Ohio State leads the way with 13, including 11 in the top-100, out of 17 commits (81.3), followed by Alabama (70), Texas (66.7) and Miami (63.2).
The Tigers have three top-100 pledges with Lawrence, defensive end Xavier Thomas and wide receiver prospect Derion Kendrick. Among the oddities of the new rankings, while Alabama has seven top-250 commits, they have only one top-100 pledge.
Notably absent early among schools with at least five commitments in the top-250 are Stanford (2), Florida State (3), LSU (3), Auburn (3) and Georgia (4).
Clemson commits by 247Sports rankings
2. QB Trevor Lawrence (Cartersville HS; Ga.)
3. SDE Xavier Thomas (IMG Academy; Fla.)
78. WR Derion Kendrick (South Pointe; S.C.)
116. CB Kyler McMichael (Greater Atlanta Christian)
128. DT Josh Belk (Lewisville; S.C.)
151. WDE Justin Mascoll (South Gwinnett; Ga.)
206. OLB Mike Jones Jr. (IMG Academy; Fla.)
390. DT Darnell Jefferies (Newton; Ga.)
455. OLB Jake Venables (Daniel; S.C.)
762. TE Braden Galloway (Seneca; S.C.)
NA. K BT Potter (South Pointe; S.C.)