Trevor Lawrence talks decision to not opt out of season


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(Clemson athletics photo)
(Clemson athletics photo)

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence says he has made his decision and is committed to playing the 2020 college football season.

A number of top NFL draft picks have already opted out of the campaign, and with Lawrence being a projected No. 1 pick, he says he had to at least mull a decision over with family.

"I think everyone has thought about it with everything that’s going on today," Lawrence said on a media Zoom call Friday, citing a watchful eye on NCAA/ACC guidelines and the schedule as factors. "Since I’ve made the decision to play, I haven’t thought about it again. That’s my decision and I’m committed and I want to play my last year here, if that’s what I decide to do. I even have another one -- people are forgetting that I’ve got four years.

"I’m just ready to have a great year and be a part of this team. We’re super-pumped -- I’m committed to playing. That’s the thing -- once I committed to playing, my mind is off of that."

Just in the ACC, projected first-round picks at Virginia Tech (CB Caleb Farley) and Miami (DE Gregory Rousseau) have opted out. Lawrence says he understands those calls.

"I totally get it," he said. "There’s a lot on the line for them and if they feel the risk is too much -- that’s something that they have worked for their whole life to play in the NFL. They don’t want to risk it. Everyone has their reasons and it makes sense in those situations. I respect it. Even though my decision is different. I definitely understand it because I had to make that decision too."

Lawrence also talked about Travis Etienne being in camp.

"We talk a lot about these things. I think that's a tough decision especially in his shoes -- being his fourth year," Lawrence said. "I'm just proud to be on a team with a guy committed and just wants to play football. He just loves the game. That's why he's playing. It's not about the money necessarily. That's good to hear."

Lawrence was also asked about united calls for more player rights and health coverage from the Big Ten and PAC-12.

"I don’t necessarily agree with everything on there (with the Pac-12), but it’s people using their voices for something they believe in and what they want," Lawrence said. "I respect that. For me, I agree with some of it and with some of it I don’t. But that’s how life is...I’m just excited to play football and can speak for me and pretty much my whole team that we’re just excited to be back."

Lawrence says that the Tigers feel "safe" with the ACC protocols.

"Some of the good stuff they (other conference players) brought to light is the safety things for COVID and we've had talks with coaches and we felt safe and feel like there are good protocols in place," Lawrence said. "As far as medical coverage is something were to happen, we feel safe now...Things that were already in place for our team that we just had to make sure...(They were like) let's just all make sure we're covered and safe in case something happens because we're risking our health by playing but we're all assuming the risk, but it's our choice and we just wanted to make sure we were covered and safe. We're in good hands."

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