Clemson is coming off a semifinal appearance in the College Football Playoff behind first-year starter Kelly Bryant. However, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach believes that there will be a different starting quarterback in incoming freshman Trevor Lawrence.
Bryant, a rising senior, will have a difficult time holding off Lawrence, an incoming freshman and early enrollee, who is ranked the No. 1 pocket passer and No. 2 player overall in the ESPN 300. Lawrence, from Cartersville, Georgia, is 6-foot-6 and 209 pounds. He has been described as a “once-in-a-generation kind of player,” kind of like the last Clemson quarterback from Georgia: Deshaun Watson.
Bryant threw for 2,802 yards with 13 touchdowns against eight interceptions and led the Tigers to a 12-2 record. He also ran for 665 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. However, he does have a lot of room to improve as a passer and if Lawrence can come in and prove he’s a capable passer right away then there certainly will be some serious competition.
It’s going to be hard to overcome the inherent advantage Bryant has as a guy who’s been in the system for a while, but if Lawrence is as incredible as we’re being led to believe then that might not matter.