Clemson is stacking quarterback talent in the program with a future competition that will be worth following. With ESPN 300 quarterbacks Hunter Johnson and Chase Brice in the 2017 class, Dabo Swinney and staff reeled in the highest-rated signal-caller yet Thursday night when ESPN Junior 300 No. 3-overall Trevor Lawrence committed to the Tigers.
What he brings: The nation's No. 1-ranked quarterback brings elite size at 6-foot-6, and the arm talent to make every throw at the next level. With more than 10,000 yards through the air in three varsity seasons for Class 4A Cartersville High, Lawrence is a passer who is advanced in reading and understanding defenses, and thus working through progressions quickly and consistently. His compact delivery, coupled with a strong arm, allows him to fit the ball into tight windows in the intermediate game. While playing in the pocket will always be Lawrence’s strength, he does flash the functional athleticism to extend plays and move outside the pocket under duress.
Significance of impact: With Deshaun Watson’s success at Clemson coming from the state of Georgia, it’s absolutely huge that Swinney and staff were able to reel in Lawrence over Georgia this early. This is a recruiting win that will provide the Tigers with more momentum than they have enjoyed, and that is saying something coming off back-to-back Top 10 classes with a third straight in sight. The selling point to No. 1-overall Xavier Thomas and No. 1-ranked running back Zamir White just became easier for Clemson, with the competition, South Carolina for Thomas and Georgia for White, having a tougher task to halt the tidal wave of momentum building.
Strength of commitment: This is a very strong commitment for Clemson. Lawrence didn’t rush through the process, and backed off making a commitment prior to the beginning of his junior season. He made multiple visits to the schools he strongly considered. Georgia, Tennessee and Florida were all thoroughly considered before Lawrence committed to the Tigers.
Percent chance of the commit holding: 95 percent.
Biggest threat: Georgia. The Bulldogs won’t walk away from the top-ranked 2018 prospect in the state, and will be patiently waiting if Lawrence re-opens his recruitment for any reason.
For those who fell short, who is next on their board?: Georgia has lost out on Lawrence and ESPN Jr 300 No. 8 Justin Fields (Penn State verbal) in recent weeks. A third ESPN Jr 300 quarterback from Georgia, Ohio State verbal Emory Jones, could come into play for the Bulldogs in the coming weeks. With freshman Jacob Eason having the look of a three or four year starter and ESPN 300 Jake Fromm in the fold in 2017, winning a battle for an in-state 2018 has become a difficult task.