Monday Notebook: Trevor Lawrence recalls chasing down Tanner Muse after interception

by - Senior Writer -
Trevor Lawrence in action against Texas A&M Saturday.
Trevor Lawrence in action against Texas A&M Saturday.

CLEMSON – Brent Venables was still in a good mood Monday.

Clemson’s defensive coordinator walked into the interview area Monday, noticed the color of my shirt and said, “You are wearing A&M colors.”

He then broke into a big smile – as big as you will see from Venables – and broke down not only the Tigers’ 24-10 win over the Aggies but the upcoming tilt against Syracuse.

It was that kind of day, and here are a few of the highlights.

*Safety Tanner Muse told the media Saturday that he intercepted quarterback Trevor Lawrence during fall camp, and Lawrence admitted it Monday. Muse said he picked off Lawrence, then threw the ball at Lawrence, and then took off running.

“Yeah, that’s pretty right,” Lawrence said Monday. “I remember, we were over on Jervey (Meadows) and he picked me off and then threw the ball right back at me as soon as he caught it. I was so mad, so I started running after him.”

Did he catch Muse?

“No, no I didn’t,” Lawrence said, laughing.

*Freshman defensive tackle Tyler Davis said head coach Dabo Swinney came up with the nickname “Baby Dex” (because he resembles Dexter Lawrence) and he really doesn’t care for it. However, senior offensive lineman Sean Pollard has called him “Fire Hydrant” and “Stump” due to his build.

I asked him about his height and how it helps with pad level and leverage, and he said uses his “God-given talent.”

*Lawrence said he doesn’t pay attention to those who think he should play perfect every time out.

"It's definitely something you've got to keep bringing yourself back to: We're winning,” Lawrence said. “You're not going to be perfect. It doesn't matter what the stats are as long as we're winning."

Lawrence said the coaches have tried to impress on him the fact that he needs to slide more and avoid contact when possible.

"Just protect myself a little bit better," he said. "Sometimes in the open field, there's some chances where I could just either go out of bounds, make a cut and kind of avoid the hit, and just kind of ran straight into the guy. So, that's an example of just kind of be a little bit better at protecting myself."

*Lawrence didn’t finish last year’s game against Syracuse and while he doesn’t use that as motivation, it’s in the back of his mind.

"Just to win every game, that's the motivation," Lawrence said. "But I mean I wouldn't say that necessarily. I always want to play well, but definitely want to leave no doubt this game. We want to every game, but yeah."

*I asked Venables the big difference between former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey and current quarterback Tommy DeVito, and he said Dungey brought experience while DeVito brings calmness and poise to his offense.

*He said his defense will have to be on guard at Syracuse – he expects the book from head coach Dino Babers, including trick plays. He also said that losing two years ago wasn’t a fluke.

“They were charged up, played with a lot of aggression, and were very physical. They lined up and beat us,” he said. “They just out-performed us, out-competed us, out-coached us, all of those things."

*Wide receiver Amari Rodgers played Saturday against Texas A&M, achieving a goal he set for himself after tearing his ACL during the spring.

“I remember telling my mom and my dad right after surgery, I was like, ‘I’ve got to be back for the A&M game. That’s my goal, I’ve got to be back that game,’” Rodgers said Monday. “I knew it would probably be one of the biggest games of the season, so I wanted to be back and able help my team in that game. So, that’s really what was in the back of my mind throughout the whole process, that I wanted to be back as early as possible.”

*Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said he loves what he sees out of left tackle Jackson Carman. He said he has been pleased with Carman’s maturity.

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