When Deshaun Watson came to Clemson is 2014, one of the first things the Clemson’s coaches noticed about the now NFL quarterback was his ability to quickly pick things up and digest it. Though he was a freshman, he processed the information quickly and started making plays.
Now, four years later, they are seeing another true freshman do it. This time it’s Trevor Lawrence.
“He does not look like a true freshman that showed up in January,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said following Monday’s practice at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility. “He is one of those guys that as soon as he learns it one time, he knows it and he can regurgitate it and does really well in meetings.”
Scott said the coaches are not at all surprised Lawrence has come in, learned the offense and is competing right away. The former 5-star quarterback enrolled at Clemson in January.
“Trevor is a guy that picks up things very quickly, which is not surprising to us because he comes from Cartersville (Ga.) and played for four years and played in a very similar offense to what we are doing,” Scott said.
Before Clemson broke camp for spring break, defensive back Trayvon Mullen said Lawrence’s arm strength really sticks out to him. Scott agreed, saying Lawrence will test the defensive backs a time or two to see what he can and cannot do with a certain pass or read.
“It is one thing as far as knowing what side of the field to go to. That is the first thing,” the Clemson coach said. “Once the ball is snapped it is figuring out bases off the safety structure. ‘Am I working off the field concept or the boundary concept?’
“So some of those times whenever he is trying to fit that ball in there, it is not a situation where he is working the boundary and should have thrown to the field. It is where he knows he is in the boundary, but he thinks he can make that throw and obviously the speed is a little bit different at the college level.”
The thing Scott likes about Lawrence the most is the fact he is not scared to attack the defense, and this is a defense that led the ACC in every major category last season and ranked second nationally in scoring defense and fourth in passing defense.
“We are not going to have to wait until the fall to be able to go against a fast secondary or linebacker group because we get to see it right here,” Scott said. “That is a huge benefit that we have. He is definitely tested and he has made some (throws), too.
“That has been fun to watch, but it is just kind of that process with young players as they progress and learn.”