When the play happened, it just seemed like another pitch-and-catch for Braden Galloway. He ran his route, cut toward the sideline, turned around and there was the football.
It was a 19-yard gain and a first down as Clemson went on to kick a field goal during its victory over Wake Forest on Sept. 12.
But when Galloway watched the film from the game the following Monday, he could not believe what he was seeing. Because Trevor Lawrence made the pass look so easy, it appeared routine to Galloway in the moment. But when he saw it on film, he was in awe of what he was watching.
“When you are in the game or you are in the moment, most of the time you can’t, and I don’t necessarily pay attention to it, but then, when we go back and watch film, I am like, ‘How did he make that throw,” the Clemson tight end said.
The Tigers, already up 14-0 at the time, had the ball at their own 49-yard line early in the second quarter. The Demon Deacons were sitting in a Cover 2 and Galloway was lined up in the slot and ran a corner route on the field side. Moving right to left on the film, Lawrence was set on the right hash when he dropped back to pass, scanned the defense and then threw a laser to Galloway on the left sideline for a 19-yard gain to the Wake Forest 32.
“I did not realize how hard of a throw that was,” Galloway recalled. “He just made it look so easy that a lot of people just kind of overlooked it because they expect that from him. That is what he has shown every day in practice since he has been here.
“So, a lot of things he does on an every day basis comes as a surprise to some people that don’t see it all the time.”
The throw Lawrence made to Galloway against Wake Forest is why ESPN analyst Todd McShay calls him the top pick in next April’s NFL Draft.
“That is why he is going to be the first pick in the NFL Draft,” the analyst said during the broadcast. “He made that throw look so easy. Opening up to his left side. Yeah, he had velocity on it, but he put the perfect amount of touch and he placed it exactly where you need it to go.
“He is a special talent. It is very obvious.”
Lawrence has since continued to make all the throws for top-ranked Clemson. This past Saturday he threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns while completing 8-of-9 passes for 168 yards. The one incompletion was a dropped pass on the first attempt of the game by Amari Rodgers.
He later found Rodgers for a 44-yard touchdown pass that he dropped perfectly in Rodgers’ arms. He then did the same on a 54-yard bomb in the second quarter to Frank Ladson down the near sideline. Lawrence and Ladson also connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass, again another laser from Lawrence as Ladson was dragging across the back half of the end zone.
After the first two weeks, the junior has completed 30-of-37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns and more importantly no interceptions. He is completing 81.1 percent of his passes.
“He is obviously the best quarterback in the country, and he continues to make amazing throws whether it be in practice or be in a game,” Galloway said. “But yeah, you have to see it multiple times and you have to realize that was kind of a hard throw before you actually (appreciate it) because sometimes he just makes it look so easy.”
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