Streeter compares nation’s top QB to former Clemson great
As he recruited five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Brandon Streeter could recognize some of the same characteristics that Deshaun Watson displayed during his time as Clemson’s starting quarterback.
During the recruiting process, one way that Lawrence really reminded Streeter of Watson was how candid and straightforward he was.
That showed Streeter how focused Lawrence is, much like Watson.
“He communicated so well with me,” said Streeter, Clemson’s quarterbacks coach and Lawrence’s primary recruiter. “We were up front with him, he was up front with us, and so it made (the recruiting process) so much cleaner. Usually when those guys are that clean, that means they’re focused and they are ready to go.
“So that’s what I’m excited about. I know he’s got a million people pulling at him, but he’s got those blinders that he can put on, and he just goes to work. So that’s what I see in him, and as he gets here it kind of carries over from that process. It was the same way with Deshaun.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said that Lawrence was one of the most low-maintenance recruits he has ever been around, and Streeter agreed.
Lawrence — the nation’s top-ranked overall player according to multiple recruiting services — held two dozen scholarship offers and was a heavily pursued recruit, even after he committed. Yet Streeter never had to fret about the possibility of Lawrence jumping ship and flipping to another program.
The Cartersville, Ga., native was All In when he pledged to Clemson last December, and it stayed that way throughout his recruitment, which culminated in his signing with the Tigers on Wednesday during the first day of college football’s early signing period.
“It was incredible, and I told him that several times,” Streeter said of Lawrence. “When you have such a high-profile guy… Usually when you recruit those guys, you get worried because they’re getting pulled in different directions, and Trevor was definitely getting pulled from all over the country. But he just stuck to his guns and always asked the right questions and always did the right things that we were asking him to do throughout the recruiting process.”
Lawrence is an early enrollee, so he will join starter Kelly Bryant, former five-star Hunter Johnson and former four-stars Zerrick Cooper and Chase Brice in the quarterbacks’ room when spring practice begins in March.
It figures to be an intense competition, and Streeter made it clear that Lawrence — like the other quarterbacks — will have a fair chance to compete for the starting job.
“He’s going to get an opportunity right away, just like all the guys did in preseason camp this past year,” Streeter said. “It’s the same deal. We preach that from day one, you have to earn it, and he’s going to have to earn it. He’s got special talent, but I’ve got a lot of guys that have special talent. So it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Streeter’s message to Lawrence and his quarterbacks is simple: Just be who you are, and the rest will take care of itself.
“What I told my guys today and what I’ve been telling Trevor Lawrence ever since we started recruiting him is, just be who you are,” Streeter said. “Don’t try to be anybody else.
“I went around the room today, and I named them all. I said just be who you are, do your job and do it to the best of your ability. And that’s all you can do. If you start worry about the guy next to you and how he’s doing, then that’s just nothing but a distraction for you and it’s going to cause you to not be as good as you can possibly be.”
So, who is Lawrence? What can Clemson fans expect to see from him on the field in the future?
“Physically, he makes all the throws that you could possibly want,” Streeter said. “You watch his film — and I’ve watched him play three, four, five times live — he makes every throw that you could possibly want. And when he makes that throw, it’s usually pinpoint accuracy.
“On top of that, he can be a guy that can escape the pocket and make something happen. I’ve seen him make several plays where he gets flushed from the pocket and makes those throws, wherever they are. They could be coming from anywhere, so you’re going to see receivers – not that they don’t now — but you’re going to see receivers be ready for anything.”
Lawrence finished his career at Cartersville High with a 52-2 record in four years as a starter. He led Cartersville to two state championships and a 41-game winning streak at one point.
The U.S. Army All-American threw for 13,908 yards and 161 touchdowns against just 21 interceptions during his high school career. He broke Georgia state records for passing yards and touchdown passes previously held by Watson.