Clemson football standout Trevor Lawrence had one of the best freshman seasons in recent memory. Lawrence threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Tigers to a 15-0 record.
His placement atop the Tigers’ depth chart should be obvious, but not for head coach Dabo Swinney, according to ESPN writer David Hale.
Swinney liked how backup quarterback Chase Brice has been playing during spring football. The redshirt freshman proved that he was a capable college quarterback as he led Clemson to a comeback victory over Syracuse. Brice has only thrown 51 passes this season, but five of those went for touchdowns.
Lawrence threw six touchdowns in the College Football Playoff as Clemson rolled to the national championship. The quarterback from Cartersville, Georgia was poised under pressure and showed people across the nation why he was one of the most hyped up quarterback prospects in recent memory. Lawrence played great throughout the season, so Swinney’s statement is a little perplexing.
The head coach might be trying to push his talented quarterback as Lawrence is the clear option to start the opening game of the 2019 season. He almost beat out Kelly Bryant before the 2018 season began, only to take the job from him by the fifth game of the season.
Lawrence has great chemistry with receivers Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins, so maintaining that relationship is key for the Tigers in 2019.
His ability to put the ball in the right spot for his 6-foot-4 receivers to make a play on the ball was how Clemson won the national title. While Brice is capable of throwing the ball down the field, he does not have Lawrence’s arm strength and accuracy. The rising redshirt sophomore might be more mobile than Lawrence, but Clemson’s offense is not predicated on how well the quarterback can move around.
Lawrence enters the 2019 season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, but he still has to earn the starting quarterback job for Swinney in the offseason.