There have been many times when Trevor Lawrence has been in awe of the moment, just not on the football field.
“On the field, I always feel pretty confident,” Clemson’s freshman quarterback said.
It’s Lawrence’s confidence that helped the second-ranked Tigers reach the national championship game for the third time in the last four years. Though he is a true freshman, the Cartersville, Ga., native has looked like a season veteran directing the Clemson offense.
In last week’s win over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, he completed 27-of-36 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ rout of the No. 3 Irish. Though Notre Dame tried to confuse him and came with blitzes, Lawrence was never rattled on his way to being named the game’s MVP.
“Ever since I have been here, and even in high school, I have always played with good teams and I have good players around me,” Lawrence said. “So, that has helped. That has helped a lot when you have other players around you.”
Lawrence admits, even though the Tigers have been ranked No. 2 for much of the season, the thought of playing in the national championship game is a little crazy when he thinks about it. Clemson will face top-ranked Alabama Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
“It is just sort of surreal to be in this situation,” he said. “We are 14-0 and about to play for the national championship. That is just kind of crazy to think about and everything we have gone through from the beginning of the season to now. Anything we have done has not surprised me.”
And now Lawrence gets ready for an Alabama defense that will be his toughest test of the season. He knows head coach Nick Saban will do all he can to make life difficult for him and the Tigers’ offense.
“If we just do what we have been doing and we do it the right way, everything will be fine,” Lawrence said. “They are a great team and they have a great defense like always, but obviously, in a national championship game every team is going to be great.
“I know they are going to have some stuff and they are going to prepare well, but we will be ready.”