As a smiling Trevor Lawrence celebrated with his teammates on Jan. 7 after a 44-16 domination of Alabama at Levi's Stadium for the College Football Playoff National Championship, faces began to droop around the rest of college football.
Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers aren't going anywhere. In fact, it would be a mini surprise if Lawrence doesn't win at least one more national title before he leaves for the NFL two or three years from now. Though Alabama's dynasty has largely been defined by defenders and running backs, Clemson's emerging dynasty likely will be defined by two quarterbacks: Deshaun Watson and Lawrence.
With the return of the Future Power Rankings taking a look at the quarterback position, it's no surprise which team tops the list. Creating these rankings involves examining the next three seasons -- 2019, 2020 and 2021 -- and identifying which teams project best in certain areas. Thanks to draft departures, transfers, coaching changes, emerging performers, recruiting bonanzas and others factors, the current list looks quite different from its predecessor. I place a premium on proven players already on the roster but also consider incoming recruits. I also only evaluate players currently connected to teams, so though it's fun to speculate about future quarterback transfers, they're not part of this evaluation.
Let's get started.
2018 ranking: 2
Returning starter: Trevor Lawrence
Scouting the Tigers: Lawrence's generational talent and eligibility situation made Clemson a very easy choice. Having become the first true freshman to lead his team to a national tile since 1985, the 6-foot-6 Lawrence is just getting started with the Tigers. He will enter his sophomore year among the favorites to win the Heisman. Though it's highly unlikely he carries Clemson through the entire three years, two years of Lawrence and one of another heralded recruit or transfer gives Clemson the premier quarterback situation in the country. Perhaps the only drawback is depth, although Chase Brice has three years of eligibility left and Clemson signed ESPN 300 pocket passer Taisun Phommachanh in the 2019 class.