REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Cartersville High School and Harrison High School are separated by about 20 miles on Highway 41 in Georgia, meaning a short drive would allow one to see the top prospects in the class of 2018, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
The two five-star quarterbacks – Lawrence is ranked as the No. 1 recruit regardless of position and Fields is ranked No. 2, according to 247Sports — seem unlikely to go head-to-head in the high school season given that their schools play in different classifications.
But this weekend at the Elite 11 Finals, they two got the chance to learn and grow between the lines together, something they’ve never experienced despite their proximity and them sharing a quarterback coach in Robert Veal.
While they embrace competition, they said they’ve formed more of a friendship than a rivalry over the last few years.
“Not really anything like that,” Lawrence, a Clemson commit, said about a rivalry with Fields. “We’re friends and it’s kind of hard not to follow each other with social media and we have the same QB coach. We haven’t worked out together yet, but we need to.”
“We’re friends and we’re close,” said Fields, a Penn State commit. “We’ve been trying to get a dual workout together, but it’s just never happened.”
Lawrence threw for 3,904 yards and 51 touchdowns last season, leading Cartersville to a 15-0 record and a Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class 4A state championship. Cartersville also won the state title with Lawrence in 2015.
Just down the road, Fields, who has skyrocketed up the recruiting boards over the last few months, is a dual-threat signal caller who amassed a total of 3,946 yards (2,770 passing and 1,176 rushing), while throwing for 23 touchdowns and rushing for 15 more. Jones is
Harrison finished with a 10-2 record a season ago, losing to eventual GHSA Class 6A runners up Tucker High in the second round of the playoffs.
Lawrence and Fields are two of many elite quarterbacks coming out of the state of Georgia.
They are joined this weekend in California at the Elite 11 Finals by Ohio State commit Emory Jones from Heard County (Franklin, Ga.) who is ranked as the No. 3 dual-threat passer and No. 38 overall by 247Sports. The composite rankings list him as the No. 2 dual threat and No. 24 overall.
The quarterback class of 2018 from Georgia also includes Texas A&M-bound Cade Fortin, Kentucky commit Jarren Williams and Troy-bound Gunnar Watson.
This class follows Davis Mills, who is headed to Stanford, is the No. 1-ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2017 according to the 247Sports Composite. Georgia natives Jake Fromm (Georgia), Bailey Hockman (Florida State) and Chase Brice (Clemson) were all considered top-15 recruits at their position.
Lawrence made sure to note that while the 2017 and 2018 classes have a chance to be impressive, there’s plenty more Georgia quarterbacks coming up the pipeline. Class of 2020 quaterback Harrison Bailey and Class of 2021’s Aaron McLaughlin are among those already getting attention.
“It’s pretty cool,” Lawrence said. “We’ve had some pretty good quarterbacks down there and I don’t see it stopping any time soon.”
Lawrence and Fields are focused on utilizing the Elite 11 experience for all that it’s worth, and both hope to make it to The Opening Finals.
“I’m enjoying competing against all the guys out here,” Lawrence said. “There’s lots of good ones. I’m taking in as much as I can from this; they’re giving us a lot of good stuff and I’m soaking it all up.”
“It’s been good getting out here with some of the best coaches, learning from them and getting to compete against some of the best quarterbacks in the country,” Fields added. “I’m just learning as much as I can from these coaches because they’ve been where I want to be.”