2018’s No. 1 prospect leaning toward Tennessee

The recruiting cycle in college football never ends. Case in point: Trevor Lawrence.

While we still have plenty of commitments to get through for both the 2016 and 2017 classes, the battle for Lawrence, the No. 1 prospect in the 2018 class is already heating up, and so far the news is good if you’re a Tennessee Vols fan.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Cartersville (GA) High has already led his team to a 12-2 record and an appearance in the state semi-finals as a freshman. According to Barton Simmons of 247Sports, he has offers from 14 different colleges and counting.

Tennessee appears to be the early leader with Georgia close behind.

In addition to the aforementioned 12 wins, Lawrence’s freshman campaign featured 3,042 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and a 60 percent completion rate. Cartersville head coach Joey King said, “We clocked him at a 4.7 40. He’s tall, strong. He cleans 230 pounds as a freshman. He’s a solid student, he loves the game, he studies it and he’s a humble kid.” All pretty good qualities for a D1 quarterback prospect, certainly.

But what about the intangibles?

Well, Dawgs247 analyst Rusty Mansell says Lawrence has those covered, too.

“There was an interception he threw in the semifinal game against Buford,” Mansell said, “He turned around and chased him and got KO’d on a crack back block. It was a huge hit. He got himself up, got to the sideline and I was on the sideline and walked over just to see if he was o.k. He was pushing the trainers off and he wanted to talk to his offensive line. He said, ‘Guys let’s go, that one was on me. Let’s get it back.’ He showed me that he’s got some intangibles, he was a leader at an early age and he’s got some serious toughness.”

Intangibles, check.

But Lawrence’s recruitment is still in its infancy. Does he have the maturity as a sophomore to handle the pressures of being the number one recruit in the country while still getting the job done on the high school field? King seems to think so.

“That’s one of the most impressive things about him is how levelheaded he is,” says King. “He doesn’t get rattled, doesn’t let stuff go to his head. He comes to work every day. As talented as he is, he’s still working in the offseason. He’s not satisfied with where he is as a player and he wants to continue to work and grow with that.”

Work ethic, check.

But what about putting the cart ahead of the horse, here? After all, Lawrence is just entering his sophomore season in high school. Will all the hype get him thinking too far ahead? It doesn’t seem so.

When asked about being named the number one recruit for 2018, Lawrence said, “That’s great. I’m really happy my hard work is paying off, but we’ve still got this season coming up. This will be a big one. You can expect to see us in the (Georgia) Dome at the end of the season. I’m ready for [the expectations] and this team is ready for it. It’s going to be something to watch this year.”

Focus, check.

So with all that said, it’s a pretty good bet that Lawrence will end up as somebody’s starting quarterback on Saturdays a few years from now. Whether that happens in Knoxville, Athens or somewhere else is really anybody’s guess right now.

In the meantime, there’s a whole lot of football to be played. Hopefully Trevor Lawrence enjoys it as much as we will.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Les Miles says LSU has 3 silent commitments for 2016
Les Miles says LSU has 3 silent commitments for 2016