Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney welcomed nine freshmen midyear enrollees from the historic 2018 signing class to campus in January.
The group is tied for the biggest class of midyears for the Clemson program. Swinney also had nine midyear enrollees in 2015.
The nine newcomers began classes on Jan. 10 and can participate in Clemson’s spring practices, which start Feb. 28.
In the first installment of our Impact Freshmen series detailing Clemson’s early enrollees, The Clemson Insider looks at five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence:
Hometown (High School): Cartersville, Ga. (Cartersville)
Height, Weight: 6-6, 209
Prospect ratings/rankings: 5-star, No. 1 QB (Pocket Passer), No. 2 state, No. 2 national (ESPN); 5-star, No. 1 QB (Pro-Style), No. 1 state, No. 1 national (Rivals); 5-star, No. 1 QB (Pro), No. 1 state, No. 1 national (247Sports)
High school stats/accolades: USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year… US Army National Player of the Year… Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia in 2016 and 2017… four-year starter at quarterback at Cartersville High School, he began starting in third game of his freshman year and finished 52-2 as starter for his career… led program to a 41-game winning streak at one point… led Cartersville to four region titles, two state titles and three state playoff Final Fours… passed for 13,908 yards during his four-year career and threw for 161 touchdown passes… broke state records for passing yards and touchdown passes previously held by Deshaun Watson… in 2017 had 41 touchdown passes and just one interception… in 12 games in 2017 he completed 177 of 256 passes for 3,396 yards, a .700 completion percentage… averaged 19.6 yards per completion as a senior… two-time state AAAA champion in Georgia… competed in the Elite 11 finals… named an Elite 11 Quarterback… invited to Nike’s annual The Opening in Oregon in summer of 2017… first-team All-State in Georgia 4A his last three years… offensive player of the year and first-team AAAA All-State in 2015, 2016 and 2017
Strengths: Lawrence is considered a generational-type talent and checks all of the boxes coaches look for in a quarterback. He has great size at 6-foot-6, 209 pounds, which allows him to see over taller players and easily survey the field. He has elite arm talent with the strength, accuracy and touch to make all of the throws. His highlight tape speaks for itself, showing a player that can get the ball where it needs to be regardless of whether he is passing from the pocket or on the run. Lawrence is sneakily athletic to boot and can make plays with his feet.
How he fits in: Lawrence will compete with Kelly Bryant, Hunter Johnson and Chase Brice for Clemson’s starting quarterback job in spring practice and fall camp. Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter has said that Bryant will enter spring practice as the starter after going 12-2 in his first year as a starter and leading the Tigers back to the College Football Playoff in 2017. With that said, Streeter has also made it clear that Lawrence, Johnson and Brice will all get a lot of reps this spring and have plenty of opportunities to show what they can do.
Lawrence is still learning the playbook, but enrolling in school early and participating in spring practices will only benefit him and Clemson in the long run. His progression this spring will determine where he is at when fall camp begins and if he can seriously push Bryant and Johnson for the starting job.
Coach speak: Cartersville head coach Joey King on Lawrence – “He’s a phenomenal player, but he’s an even better person, and that part makes him special. As far as his skill set and his talent, it’s unbelievable. But as special as he is in that respect, he’s even better of a person.”
–Staff reports contributed to this story