When Kirby Smart was hired at Georgia, he made 5-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence a priority in the first few days after he got the job.
Smart was already recruiting the nation’s No. 1 prospect for the Class of 2018 shortly after he was hired. That was at a time when he had yet to speak with or meet several committed prospects in the Class of 2016.
That was time well spent. The 5-star QB is a special player, but it will not yield the result Georgia fans hoped for.
Lawrence committed to Clemson on Thursday night.
Please respect my decision and no interviews 🐅 pic.twitter.com/ouXRGGcqvf
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) December 16, 2016
He’s “All In” at Clemson.
There will be no quarterback derby between Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm and Lawrence when Cartersville’s state champion QB enrolls in January of 2017.
Those first two big-time talents will be at Georgia, but Lawrence will not.
His commitment didn’t require a video. It was short. The Clemson faithful will definitely call it sweet.
“After a long and thoughtful process, I’m blessed to announce that I’m committed to Clemson University,” Lawrence wrote in a brief note that accompanied a tweet that announced his decision.
He also asked the media to respect his decision with no calls or interviews.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder led his Cartersville Hurricanes to a repeat 15-0 season this year. He was named the 2018 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year over the last week.
He carries a 4.07 GPA in the classroom and is on pace to break every career passing record in the Georgia High School Association record books.
That’s despite sitting out the third and fourth quarters of a lot of games so far along his prep career.
Lawrence is a once-every-decade-prospect. At least. He’s the type of signature talent that Clemson can build a recruiting class and an offense around.
What comes next? That leaves Georgia the flexibility to chase the rest of the top passers across the South in 2018.
Georgia has recently sent out an offer to dual-threat QB Justin Fields of Harrison High in Cobb County.
Fields went to a UGA game shortly before the offer but chose to recently commit to a Penn State program that had recruited him heavy and steady throughout his junior season. That’s the price an elite program pays to woo a talent like Lawrence.
Clemson had only given out one committable offer to a quarterback in 2018. That was the one Lawrence accepted on Thursday night.
Emory Jones, the No. 2 QB in Georgia for the Class of 2018, committed to Ohio State earlier this year.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for DawgNation.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.