SAN JOSE, Calif. — The first time Miller Forristall saw Trevor Lawrence throw the football, he was amazed.
“I just looked around and I was like ‘oh my gosh! He has a cannon,’” the Alabama tight end said Saturday from the SAP Center during media days for Monday’s national championship game between Clemson and Alabama.
That was the start of Forristall’s junior year at Cartersville, Ga., and Lawrence’s freshman year. Forristall was the starting quarterback at the time, but when he saw Lawrence slinging the football around the field, he knew he was watching something special.
“When he walked on the field, you could tell,” Forristall said.
Though he started the season that year as the quarterback, he eventually succumbed to Lawrence by the third game of the season. Lawrence then led his high school to two state championships and a 52-2 record, including a 41-game winning streak and a 14-2 record in the state playoffs.
While Lawrence was excelling at quarterback, Forristall made the move to tight end. It proved to be a good move for everyone involved. He excelled there and earned a scholarship to play tight end for the Crimson Tide.
“I spent a lot of time praying with my family and talking with my coach and I ultimately realized this is what was best for me and my teammates, so why wouldn’t I do it.”
Lawrence finished his high school career by breaking Deshaun Watson’s Georgia High School passing records with 13,908 yards and 161 touchdowns on his way to becoming the number one-ranked player in the country coming out of high school.
“It all worked out for the best,” Forristall said. “I ended up getting to go play tight end for the best team in the country.”
Now the two former Cartersville teammates will be on opposite sidelines Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Forristall is a redshirt sophomore for the Crimson Tide, while Lawrence is of course doing his thing as Clemson’s starting quarterback.
Like he did with Forristall at Cartersville, Lawrence came into Clemson behind starter Kelly Bryant. But like he did in high school, he eventually over took Bryant too and became the most prolific freshman quarterback in Clemson history.
Besides being 10-0 as a starter and leading the Tigers to another national championship appearance, Lawrence also owns freshman passing records in yards, attempts, completions and touchdown passes. None of it has of surprised Forristall, of course.
“No, not at all. Not with him,” said Forristall, who says he talks to Lawrence at least once a week, including this past week. “I try to watch him play every week.”
Forristall especially enjoyed watching Lawrence against South Carolina and remembers his reaction after throwing a touchdown pass in the Tigers’ 56-35 win that night.
“People like to say Jalen Hurts is very stoic,” he said. “I will say Trevor is the same, but he gets a little more fired up, I would say.
“I saw a video of him trying to stare down the South Carolina bench. I shot him a text making fun of him afterward. I have seen him get railed up.”