For USC’s Jake Bentley, it’s nothing but respect for Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

What South Carolina’s Jake Bentley said about Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

South Carolina junior QB Jake Bentley shares his praise for Clemson freshman QB Trevor Lawrence.
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South Carolina junior QB Jake Bentley shares his praise for Clemson freshman QB Trevor Lawrence.

South Carolina’s Jake Bentley doesn’t exactly know what Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is going through this season, but to a degree, they’re walking similar paths.

Both took over starting quarterback jobs a few games into their freshman seasons. Lawrence split time before getting the job, while Bentley waited on the bench. Bentley took over a struggling team, Lawrence a very good one.

But they both had something else in common.

Both were seen as the next big thing for their teams. Bentley delivered a turnaround. Lawrence has his team in line for a College Football Playoff spot.

“I think he’s a great quarterback,” Bentley said. “I think his arm talent is off the charts. As a freshman to be able to come in there and play the way he has just speaks volumes for how talented he is.”

For the season, Lawrence has connected on 64.8 percent of his passes for 2,095 yards, 21 points, four interceptions with a 153.7 rating. He’s got Clemson as one of the top offenses in the country.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp praised his maturity, especially the fact the Tigers haven’t scaled back their playbook with a first-year player in there.

Lawrence said he’s actually close with South Carolina backup Jay Urich. The pair met at a church camp this summer and have stayed close, though Lawrence doesn’t know Bentley that much.

“I haven’t gotten to watch him much this year,” Lawrence said. “I watched him last year and the year before some, but this year I haven’t gotten to see him much. But he’s a good player. I’m sure they’ll have a good plan. But we’ll be ready, though.

As a freshman, Bentley threw for 1,420 yards, nine scores and four picks. He took a 2-4 team to a bowl game, knocking off a pair of favored teams in Columbia.

Bentley’s coach saw something beyond the considerable physical talent and he did as well.

“He’s a guy that can make every throw and the team seems to really rally around him,” Bentley said. “His teammates seem to love him.”