Although it was to be expected, freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been in the spotlight since the very beginning of his Tiger career.
But the spotlight hasn’t phased Lawrence as the rookie just led No. 2 Clemson to its fourth consecutive Atlantic Division title.
With a quarterback shake up just four games into this season, the young freshman has carried himself with maturity and poise every time he has stepped on the field and co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has noticed his composure from the very beginning.
“He just continues to get better and the bigger the moment, the better he plays,” Elliott said on Monday.
This past weekend’s victory over Boston College was a prime example of the leadership and progression Lawrence has shown. During the Tigers’ first drive of the third quarter Lawrence completed a 33-yard pass to Hunter Renfrow that quickly led to a six-yard rushing touchdown for Lawrence one play later.
“Just a little bit of insight,” Elliott said, “the play that we hit to Renfrow, Renfrow comes off of the sidelines and says, ‘Look I think this play is there.’ So we said, ‘Okay we are going to call it based off of your recommendation. We trust you, Renfrow. We feel like you understand the leverage, you can get it done.’
Although Elliott along with all of the other coaches knew Lawrence was going to be a unique talent coming in, he is amazed at the instincts and knowledge Lawrence possess in just the beginning of his young collegiate career.
“For Trevor to see that and slide his protection to give himself some more time, that’s stuff that freshman quarterbacks don’t do,” he said. “Especially not just in that situation but in that game plan, just the amount of things that we asked him to be able to control and prepare for, he just continues to soak up the knowledge and he’s the same.
“His demeanor is the same every single day. I think that’s what makes him special. His confidence, his preparation and his work and I think that’s why he performs at a high level.”
And with only ten collegiate games and six starts under Lawrence’s belt, Elliott already notices Lawrence portraying some of the same characteristics as former Clemson greats.
“The great ones that come through here talking about Sammy Watkins, Deshaun (Watson), they had that same demeanor about themselves,” he said. “Their confidence was in their preparation and their work. Not necessarily their performance on the field but how they prepared to get ready to play.”