While everyone else talks about Clemson’s freshman QB, he just talks about the team
No surprise, Trevor Lawrence does not get caught in all the hype.
Yes, he is aware he is the first true freshman in 33 years to guide his team to a national championship. Yes, he is aware of all of the attention he is getting after his performance in the College Football Playoff.
Yes, he is aware he was the Offensive MVP in the national championship, a game in which he made Alabama look like any other team he has played this year.
But none of that matter’s to Lawrence. None of it.
“That doesn’t mean as much as being able to be a part of this team,” the freshman said. “Really it’s true, even if we didn’t go all this way and win a National Championship, this has been a team that I’ll never forget.”
Lawrence did his part to help the Tigers become the first team in major college football to go 15-0. The Cartersville, Ga., native completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns. More impressively, he ended the season with just four interceptions and went to the last five games without throwing an interception.
He finished the year with a school-record 169 pass attempts without a pick.
“It’s just been amazing, the focus and how driven this team is has been unbelievable,” Lawrence said. “Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just – they’re awesome people as well as players.”
With Lawrence at quarterback, the Tigers won their last 10 games by an average of 36.1 points per game, including a 27-point win against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl and a 28-point win against Alabama.
On the biggest of stages, Lawrence averaged 337 yards in the two playoff games and had six touchdowns and no interceptions.
He was never was phased by the moment. Against Alabama, the freshman looked like a 10-year veteran in the NFL, completing 20-of-32 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
“Yeah, I mean, it was just surreal. So yeah, it was even better,” Lawrence said. “It’s always great just to get another game with this group of guys. Like I said, just been an amazing year. But yeah, it was amazing.”
What was amazing was what Lawrence did to the Tide on third down. He was 8-for-11 for 240 yards on third down, hitting passes of 74, 62, 37, 26, 17 and 14 yards. Alabama came in with the No. 1 third down defense in the SEC.
He also completed two 5-yard touchdown passes to Travis Etienne and Tee Higgins on third down. All three of his touchdowns came on third down plays, including the 74-yard pass to Justyn Ross.
“In games like this you’ve got to make big plays, and the guys that we have, they definitely did that,” Lawrence said. “You just give them a chance, and they’ll come down with it. Like I said about the O-line, same thing about the receivers and running backs and everyone else. Just amazing players and really just so proud of them – it took a lot to get here, but really just proud of those guys.”
They’re all proud of him, too. But he already knew that.