Trevor Lawrence is not going to tell a lie. It has been a crazy two weeks for the Clemson freshman.
After throwing four touchdown passes in the fourth-ranked Tigers’ win at Georgia Tech on Sept. 22, he was named the starting quarterback for the Syracuse game by head coach Dabo Swinney the following Monday. On Tuesday, Kelly Bryant quit the team and announced he was going to transfer to another school, beginning a whole week of drama.
Things did not end there. Lawrence was injured in the second quarter while trying to scramble in the Syracuse game and had to go through the concussion protocol process before they discovered he had a neck strain.
Lawrence came back okay and practiced all last week before finally starting in the Tigers’ 60-point rout of Wake Forest this past Saturday. The Cartersville, Ga., native completed 20-of-25 passes for 175 yards, including touchdown passes of 55 and 20 yards to Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins.
“It has been a crazy two weeks,” Lawrence said. “It sucked having to come out of the Syracuse game. I would have liked to have come back, but it was precautionary stuff, so they could not let me. But, it was good. I was really excited for Chase and really proud of him.”
Lawrence admitted he was excited when he was named the starting quarterback because he worked so hard to earn it, but it was also tough. He said he and Bryant had a good relationship.
“We still do,” he said. “That is not going to change it. I definitely miss him being a part of the team and I am going to miss him a lot.”
Lawrence says he still stays in touch with Bryant and they have a pretty good relationship, which is what makes all of it so tough.
“It was tough. At the end of day, that is how things unfolded and we have to move on and we have to regroup as a team and get ready for the rest of the season,” he said. “But, like you said, it is definitely a tough feeling.
“On one hand, I was excited to get that spot, but on the other hand, having a good relationship with the other guy. Him leaving was definitely tough. I definitely still wish he was here, but, like I said, we have to move on and look ahead.”
Monday was the first time the media was able to talk to Lawrence since he was named the starting quarterback. He explained how he learned he was going to be the Tigers’ new starter.
“They shot me a text, I guess it was Sunday night, and just asked me if I could come in the morning. We talked about it on Monday morning and that is how we did it.”
Now that he has settled into his new role as the starter, Lawrence says things have not changed too much.
“I would say maybe a little bit, preparation wise just preparing for a whole game or a whole game of snaps, instead of splitting snaps like we were before. So, that would be the biggest thing, but really, not too much has changed.”
As for the pressure of being the starter?
“I still feel like I need to perform well,” he said. “Even though I am the guy and I am the start, I still have to do it well. Chase (Brice) is right behind me and he is a really good quarterback.”