To compete to be Clemson’s quarterback
Though it is not the only reason he moved up to No. 2 on Clemson’s preseason depth chart at quarterback, Trevor Lawrence’s demeanor played a role in it.
The one thing that was constant in the spring as the coaches talked about the true freshman was his ability to shake off his mistakes and come back the next practice better prepared and improved.
The first part of the spring was not easy on Lawrence as he had to adjust to the speed of the game and learn there are certain things he is not always going to be able to do in college like he did in high school. Players are wiser, more experienced, stronger and faster at the college level, meaning Lawrence will have to be the same if he wants to continue to make those plays. That’s where is calm and easy to learn demeanor has come into play.
In other words, the former 5-star is coachable.
“That is probably the thing with him is his calm demeanor,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said.
In the second half of the spring, Lawrence started to come into his own showing his Clemson coaches what he can do even when things breakdown around him in the pocket. He was making not only better plays, but was making better decisions.
“The most pleasing thing about Trevor is his natural instincts and his ability to extend pays, and his ability to run and escape and create,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.
Lawrence, who enrolled at Clemson in January, impressed the Tigers’ offensive coaches, whether it was with his arm strength, his ability to learn quickly or how he responded to pressure.
“The way that ya’ll see him every day, that is the same way he is in the pocket,” Elliott said. “He has just a natural pocket presence that you just can’t coach. The special ones, they have that.”
Like all freshmen, Lawrence still has a lot to learn, though.
“From a tempo standpoint, he is still trying to learn the drive and that is the thing we really challenge all of the quarterbacks,” Elliott said. “Quarterbacks drive the tempo. So as soon as the play is over and the whistle is blown, you already have your eyes to the side and you are herding the cattle in the direction to get back on the ball.”
Elliott said the tempo was not where it needed to be in between plays in the spring and that is where Lawrence is still learning.
“We did some good things from a tempo standpoint, but just in between plays, that is an area we are a going to coach these guys on,” the Clemson coach said.
When the Tigers get back to practice on Aug. 2, it will be interesting to see how far Lawrence has come since the spring game, and if he used the summer, like he did the spring, to get better each day.
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