On ESPN’s College Football Playoff Selection Show on Sunday, analyst Jesse Palmer raved about Clemson true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence and what he has accomplished this season, leading the Tigers to a 13-0 record, ACC Championship win over Pittsburgh and appearance in the CFP as the No. 2 seed against No. 3 seed Notre Dame.
“I think the fact they got here with a true freshman quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, to me, is one of the greatest stories in college football since I’ve been here at ESPN for 12 years,” Palmer said. “Coming from a guy who’s played as a true freshman, I can tell you it’s very, very humbling. It’s very easy to struggle. For a guy to enroll who had a lot of accolades and to come in, compete, win the job a few games into the season, kind of manage Kelly Bryant leaving the program… But to play in 13 games at the level he did and to lead the conference in QBR, to me, is ridiculous.”
Lawrence has played in all 13 of Clemson’s games this season and started the last nine after replacing Kelly Bryant as the starting quarterback following the win against Georgia Tech on Sept. 22.
The former five-star prospect from Cartersville, Ga., has completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He leads all ACC quarterbacks with a 154.0 passer rating.
“Yes, they have a great defense and they have phenomenal athletes surrounding them,” Palmer said. “But for a true freshman right out of high school to lead this team to the No. 2 spot entering the playoff, to me, is mind-blowing.”