Tim Tebow talks impact of Lawrence absence on season, Heisman race


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Lawrence has had the national attention one way or another all of 2020 in college football. (ACC photo)
Lawrence has had the national attention one way or another all of 2020 in college football. (ACC photo)

Heisman winner and former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was among ESPN analysts to weigh in on the effect of Trevor Lawrence's positive COVID-19 test on the season.

Lawrence will miss Saturday's game with Boston College (noon, ABC) and from there it's anyone's guess for this season after Lawrence said Thursday he is experiencing "relatively mild" symptoms. He will have to sit out at least a 10-day period of isolation from the earlier of the onset of symptoms or the positive test and then go through a series of cardiac tests to be cleared.

"I think it huge for so many reasons," Tebow said on ESPN's First Take of Lawrence testing positive for COVID-19. "One is because he is one of the best players, best people in college football so you feel bad for him that he is missing a game that he has worked so hard for and also, probably being the last year of his college career at Clemson. I think if you look at it as a whole for Clemson, I think they can get by Boston College. I even think next week their biggest game of the year even without Trevor (at No. 4 Notre Dame next Saturday) they still have a good chance to win because their backup DJ (Uiagalelei) and I won’t even try to pronounce his last name he is a 5-star freak that is a baller and has already shown this year shown a lot of poise. You got to remember their defense is lights-out getting to the quarterback with Brent Venables.

"If there was a time where Trevor could not be there for his team, I think this could be a time because I think the playoff committee will look at it and say it is one of the best players -- if not the best player in the biggest game -- he is not there so Clemson could also get (some) slack if Notre Dame was able to upset without Trevor. I think most people would get beat by Clemson with the backup quarterback. I think there are only a handful of teams that would have a chance to beat Clemson with their backup."

On a Heisman race that Lawrence has led from the start of the season, Tebow offered this: "If you look at (Ohio State quarterback) Justin Fields and his performance last week, just absolutely balling in every part of the game - throwing, running, leadership, toughness, everything. He is going to play less games unless we know Trevor isn’t playing this week and if he doesn’t play another week, I think it gives Justin a little bit more of a chance to catch up in stats. Not necessarily in performance. I think Justin is shown he is going to perform, but I think all the voters at the end of year it is easier to kind of go to default mode and say, 'Oh Trevor has 40 TDs and Justin Fields has 30' and they don’t necessarily take the amount of games into play. I think this does give Justin a little bit more of a chance to get into that race with some of the other guys like (Alabama's) Mac Jones who has been putting up crazy stats."

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