Trevor Lawrence thankful for chance to play, not worried about Heisman

by - Senior Writer -
Trevor Lawrence is ready to get back to the game he loves. (Photo courtesy ACC)
Trevor Lawrence is ready to get back to the game he loves. (Photo courtesy ACC)

If all goes as planned, Trevor Lawrence will trot out onto the playing field at Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday a little after noon, and take his first snaps since helping Clemson defeat Syracuse in October. In a season in which COVID almost took away the game he loves more than once, Lawrence will take the field with a feeling of thankfulness.

Lawrence completed 27-of-43 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns in the 47-21 victory over the Orange on October 24th, then watched from home as freshman backup D.J. Uiagalelei led the Tigers back from an 18-point deficit to beat Boston College 34-28 on Oct. 31.

Lawrence then flew with the team to South Bend on Nov. 4th and watched from the sidelines as Uiagalelei’s heroics weren’t enough and Clemson fell 47-40 in double overtime to the Irish.

He was cleared to practice last week and is scheduled to start Saturday in Tallahassee, and he will do it with a thankful heart.

"I feel good,” Lawrence said Tuesday. “I feel just as good as I did when I left. Back to normal. I've been trying to remind myself to appreciate all the little things. I think through this whole thing, even before, everyone has a greater appreciation for what we get to do. With everything being in jeopardy as far as the season. And then actually having to miss a couple of weeks, definitely even more. It just shows it's a privilege we get to do what we do. Obviously, the days can be long and you can lose sight sometimes, but I am more appreciative than ever to be back.

"You just miss the little things when you're gone. Not being in the locker room after we beat BC, just moments you can take for granted."

Lawrence was able to throw into a net he has at his house, but nothing compares to practice reps.

"Took a couple of days to get back in shape. After that I felt good,” Lawrence said. “Just had to get my timing back with the receivers. I feel like I'm in a really good spot right now."

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said it was good to have the Georgia native back at practice.

"He came back with a ton of energy," Elliott said Monday. "You could tell that, obviously, he was disappointed he couldn't be out there for his teammates."

Lawrence began the season as the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and he's thrown for 1,833 yards, completing over 70% of his throws with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions, ranking 12th nationally in passing efficiency. However, he’s missed two weeks – including the showdown at Notre Dame – and now has the rest of the regular season and the postseason to make sure Heisman voters see what he can do.

The Heisman isn’t something he’s concerned about, however. At this point, it’s all about his team

"Yeah, I think it can go both ways. You have to perform and play to be in the running. I can see that side of that. But at the same time, no watch list or award list is going to change how I feel or the confidence I have,” Lawrence said. “The biggest thing is staying focused on this team and where we want to be. Honestly, if I don't win it, the world isn't going to stop. It's a super cool honor, but it's not that big of a deal to me to be honest."

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