Lawrence should be Clemson’s starting quarterback
We have seen it before.
We have seen a star born before our eyes.
We all remember when Deshaun Watson officially became Clemson’s starting quarterback back in 2014. Watson came in at Florida State, who was No. 1 in the country at the time, and nearly led the Tigers to a victory that evening in Tallahassee.
What we saw at Georgia Tech this past Saturday is the day we all will remember when Trevor Lawrence officially became Clemson’s starting quarterback. At least we think this is the moment.
Dabo Swinney did not want to talk about the quarterback situation on Sunday and did not announce who his starting quarterback will be when second-ranked Clemson hosts Syracuse this coming Saturday at Death Valley.
How can it not be Trevor Lawrence after what we all saw in Atlanta?
Though Kelly Bryant did nothing to lose the job in the Tigers’49-21 victory, Lawrence did everything to prove he won it.
With his family and friends from nearby Cartersville, Ga., at Bobby Dodd Stadium to watch him play, Lawrence completed 13-of-18 passes for 176 yards, including a career-high four touchdowns. He threw touchdown passes of 17, 53, 3 and 30 yards. He also threw five explosive passes to five different receivers.
An explosive pass play at Clemson is anything over 16 yards.
“He really played well. It was certainly his best game. He was very poised,” Swinney said on his Sunday teleconference call with the media. “The game has slowed down for him. He is making good decisions. He is decisive with the ball. He made a nice check on the touchdown to (Hunter) Renfrow. He made some beautiful throws. I mean some beautiful throws. Then he missed one. We had an opportunity for another big play to Tee (Higgins) and he just kind of missed him high.”
But as good as all of that sounds, that’s not the reason why Lawrence should be the starter, at least in my opinion. It’s the fact, that as a freshman, Lawrence already has the freedom from the coaching staff to check off a play.
That’s not something just any freshman can do. Deshaun Watson did not have that kind of freedom when he was a freshman.
Where Swinney and co-offensive coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott were pleased the most was how Lawrence was able to check in and out of running plays all night. It was as if Lawrence was a senior instead of a first-year freshman.
“He was able to take advantage of what I call some layups that are built into the run game from time to time when defenses kind of give you some soft coverages,” Swinney said. “We had guys that could run with the ball and he took advantage of those two or three times. He did a lot of good things for sure, but definitely still has room for improvement.
“He is a work in progress every week and every week is a season of its own. It was definitely his best game. He had six drives and five touchdowns. He was very productive with his opportunities.”
As a result of Lawrence’s heads up play, Clemson had 248 rushing yards, while the offense easily had its best game of the season to this point.