<
>

Clemson lands Trevor Lawrence, No. 1 QB recruit of 2018

For the past two seasons, Clemson has made the College Football Playoff on the shoulders of a star quarterback from the state of Georgia -- Deshaun Watson.

On Thursday night, the Tigers secured a commitment from another star quarterback from the Peach State, landing the No. 3-ranked junior Trevor Lawrence.

The nation's No. 1-ranked 2018 quarterback committed to Clemson over Georgia less than a week after leading Cartersville High to the Class 4A state championship.

The home-state Bulldogs were considered the early favorite for the 6-foot-6, 194-pound Lawrence after having made several unofficial visits since 2015, and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart targeting Lawrence right away after being hired in Athens.

Clemson, who offered Lawrence in June 2015, also hosted the record-setting signal-caller a number of times, with a late July visit and Oct. 1 visit for the Louisville game serving as game-changers in Lawrence's recruitment.

Lawrence will enter a talented quarterback competition at Clemson following his senior season. The Tigers have a pair of ESPN 300 quarterbacks committed in the 2017 class with No. 1-ranked pocket passer Hunter Johnson set to enroll in January. Former ESPN 300 prospect Zerrick Cooper, from the Class of 2016, redshirted for this season, and also figures into the future competition.

Lawrence becomes the second commitment in the Class of 2018 for Dabo Swinney and staff, joining ESPN Junior 300 safety Mike Jones Jr. In addition, the Tigers are in the final two, along with South Carolina, for the nation's No. 1-ranked junior, Xavier Thomas, who released a statement on Twitter earlier in the week.

Clemson has become a national recruiting juggernaut under Swinney, signing the nation's No. 8-ranked class in 2016 following a No. 4-ranked class in 2015. The Tigers have signed 50 ESPN 300 prospects in the past five classes, and have 10 more committed in 2017 in a class that currently sits at No. 8 in the RecruitingNation class rankings.