Trevor Lawrence is not considered a dual-threat quarterback. He is proof that perception is reality.
At 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, people look at Lawrence as a guy that has to stay in the pocket and throw the football. However, the Clemson quarterback has proven over and over again, he is so much more.
For instance, look at his 30-yard touchdown pass to Justyn Ross against Texas A&M last year. Lawrence stepped out of pressure and ran to his left while keeping his eyes down the field the whole time. He patiently waited for Ross to get open and then on the run whipped a perfect pass to the Tigers’ receiver in the end zone, all while throwing against his body. It was a play few quarterbacks in college football can make and fewer can make as accurately as Lawrence did.
Lawrence’s accuracy out of the pocket was astonishingly high, one of the best in the country, which makes him even more of a dangerous passer when compared with pure pocket passers.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying Lawrence is the runner Deshaun Watson was when he ran the football. However, like Watson, Lawrence is a weapon when he chooses to run the football, as he proved in the Tigers’ Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State.
It was Lawrence’s 67-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that pulled Clemson within two points of Ohio State at the time.
Lawrence ran 103 times last year for 563 yards and nine touchdowns. His nine rushing touchdowns were very comparable to other great Clemson quarterbacks of the past. Plus, it helped open up the Clemson offense in the red zone, preventing defenses from keying on running back Travis Etienne.
Lawrence’s nine rushing touchdowns are comparable to Steve Fuller’s 10 in 1978, Woodrow Dantzler’s 10 in 2001, Tajh Boyd’s 10 in 2012 and ’13 and Watson’s nine in 2016. Dantzler ran for a Clemson quarterback record 13 in 2000, while Watson had 12 rushing touchdowns in 2015.
Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields are compared a lot, and are one and two, depending on which one you look at, in the Heisman Trophy odds this coming season. Most people consider Fields to be more of a dual-threat quarterback than Lawrence, but last year’s numbers don’t indicate that.
And before anyone says, “Fields was injured so they did not run him as much,” the Ohio State quarterback did not get hurt until the 11th game of the season against Penn State and he ran the ball a lot before the injury.
Fields averaged just 3.5 yards on 137 carries in 2019. Lawrence averaged 5.5 yards per carry and returns this year with the highest rushing grade among returning quarterbacks.
According to Pro Football Focus, Lawrence has an 84.9 percent grade. So, before anyone calls Justyn Fields the best dual-threat quarterback in the country, they might want to include Trevor Lawrence in that conversation too.
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