One year ago, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts walked out on the field with his new teammates and took snaps as Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. Now the Tigers must get ready for Hurts.
“I don’t think he’s acted like a freshman all year, the way he’s played, the way he’s carried that team, the way he’s led,” Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware said.
To prepare for Alabama’s freshman quarterback the Tigers brought in the only player in Clemson’s history to throw for more yards than Watson, former Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Boulware’s fellow defenders knew Hurts’ athleticism could become a factor in the game, but two days with Boyd emphasized just how much it could hurt them on Monday night if they don’t stick to the game plan.
“Just staying in our rush lanes. That’s what we’ve been preaching,” freshman Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence said. “We really have to contain him [Hurts] because he likes to get out of the pocket, but it’s pretty much all the same. We just do what we plan to do each weekend. Try to perform and be perfect.”
Hurts reminded Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott of his own quarterback.
“He’s just so mature beyond his years,” Scott said. “He shows great poise. It’s unheard of really to see a guy like that be able to be as successful as he’s been this year at a place like Alabama.”
That poise is exactly what stuck out to Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell.
“Usually with a freshman quarterback, they get rattled when they make a mistake, but this guy he has a straight look on his face,” Ferrell said.
One thing the Tigers can draw confidence from is the play of Watson. If they shut him down in practice then Ferrell feels they will be prepared to do the same to anyone else.
“Man you got to be on your P’s and Q’s [to stop Watson],” Ferrell said. “At the end of they day if you do anything wrong scheme wise, he’ll exploit that, but when you got everything up scheme wise it’s going to be can you make a play.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports