Freshman gets set to play in his first road game this Saturday
After getting home following Clemson’s win over Furman, co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott was going through some pictures on the internet, looking for ball security examples to show his wide receivers. That is when he stumbled across a picture of Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant congratulating Trevor Lawrence after the freshman threw his first career touchdown pass.
“He was the first one over there,” Scott said. “That is what we get to see every day on the practice field and in the meeting rooms. Those guys are Clemson teammates. Again, a lot of it goes to the culture that Coach (Dabo) Swinney has done a good job of really creating here where it is team first.”
Lawrence’s touchdown was a 6-yard pass to Diondre Overton in the second quarter. As he was coming off the field, Bryant was the first one to greet him. For Lawrence, it meant a lot for Bryant to do that and to show that kind of support.
“It has helped a lot,” Lawrence said. “It would definitely be a big stress if the guy in front of me was not taking it well and not wanting to help me out so that would definitely make it a lot harder. He has done a great job of helping me out and really being there for me. It just really shows his character. It has been good.”
Bryant said he wanted to let Lawrence know he did a good job. The senior said it was a good read by the freshman and a good play by Overton.
“I remember me throwing my first touchdown pass and Deshaun being one of the first guys congratulating me,” Bryant said. “So, I’m just being that bigger brother and being the leader in the quarterback room as well.”
When the second-ranked Tigers (1-0) play at Texas A&M this coming Saturday, Lawrence will again lean on Bryant, this time for his wisdom and maturity. Until the Furman game, Lawrence had never played in front of a crowd of more than 30,000 fans. This week it will be ratcheted up a notch as he will play in front of 100,000 fans, most of reach will be pulling against Clemson.
Obviously, Bryant is used to these kinds of environments, and he has generally played very well. He led the Tigers to wins at No. 14 Louisville, at No. 12 Virginia Tech, at No. 20 NC State and at No. 24 South Carolina last season. He also led Clemson to a win over No. 7 Miami in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte.
With Lawrence expected to play as well on Saturday, Bryant becomes a good source of wisdom and knowledge to lean on.
“I can kind of ask him how games like this go as far as playing away in a big stadium in a hostile crowd,” the freshman said. “Just ask him because he has been there and has played in it before.
“Guys on the team will kind of tell you about it and maneuver around and just be ready for it.”
Bryant said the biggest thing he can offer Lawrence and the rest of the freshmen is to channel their energy the right way.
“Just try not to focus on what is going on in the stands and on the outside with all that is leading up to this game with GameDay,” the senior said. “We are not going to prepare any differently than we did last week. We are just going to focus on getting better each and every day and just make sure we come ready to play.”