SAN JOSE, Calif. – One big narrative entering the College Football Playoff National Championship Game is that college football fans are bored with watching Clemson and Alabama play yet again.
The second-ranked Tigers are playing No. 1 Alabama for the fourth consecutive season. And, for the third time in four years the two will meet in the national championship.
The two teams have been more than dominant for the last four years and after the Tigers switched to freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence four games into the year, it became increasingly clear this matchup would happen again.
While some fans are tired of seeing the Tide and Tigers, Lawrence dreamed of meeting on the biggest stage in college football.
He was still playing high school football in Cartersville, Ga. during the first two championship matchups, including the Tigers’ thrilling win in January 2017. Lawrence was a blue-chip recruit out of high school and the No. 1 quarterback in the 2018 class in many services.
He kept up with his future team and distinctly remembers watching those games including the Sugar Bowl loss after he had signed his national letter of intent to head to Clemson’s campus early.
“Yeah, last year I was watching the Clemson-Alabama game, and I was just dreaming of playing in that game hopefully this year,” Lawrence said.
His dream came true and the Tigers are faced with an opponent similar to themselves, undefeated and coming in hot off a dominant semifinal win. The Tide have rolled opponents the same way Clemson has this year winning by an average margin of 31.4 points compared to the Tigers’ 30.6-point spread.
Lawrence was not the starter initially and split time with starter Kelly Bryant for the first four games of the season before winning the job with an impressive performance at Georgia Tech. The freshman remembers being uncertain of when the two teams would meet again but knew it was part of his destiny.
“I didn’t really know how it was going to work out. I knew I would eventually, but I didn’t really know kind of when,” he said. “And, I was just kind of dreaming of getting that opportunity, so it’s cool to see how everything unfolded,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence’s dream plays out Monday night at 8 p.m. EST in Santa Clara on ABC but whether the ending is the same, we’ll find out then.