Trevor Lawrence finds himself behind Tua in Athlon's College Football Starting Quarterback Rankings for 2019 (Top 130)
.2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
After ranking as the No. 1 prospect for the 2018 signing class, it was only a matter of time before Lawrence emerged as a star one of the top quarterbacks in college football. The Georgia native started his freshman campaign sharing the quarterback duties with Kelly Bryant but earned the starting job after a 49-21 victory over Georgia Tech. Lawrence’s emergence as the team’s starter helped Clemson jumpstart its downfield passing attack, which was instrumental in the program’s run to a national championship. Lawrence ended 2018 with 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns to just four picks and connected on 65.2 percent of his throws. And here’s a scary thought for the rest of college football: Lawrence can only get better in 2019.
.1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
After leading a second-half comeback against Georgia to win the 2018 national title, Tagovailoa edged Jalen Hurts to win a high-profile quarterback battle in Tuscaloosa. The Hawaii native certainly lived up to the hype and then some in his first full year as the starter. Tagovailoa started all 15 games and accounted for 3,966 passing yards and 43 scores (both single-season records at Alabama). He tossed only six picks over 355 attempts, completed 69 percent of his throws, earned Athlon Sports first-team All-America honors and added another 190 yards and five scores on the ground. Tagovailoa finished second in the Heisman race last fall and another trip to New York is likely in store as the leader for the Crimson Tide’s high-powered offense.