Trevor Lawrence wants to be Trevor Lawrence, not Deshaun Watson or anyone else.
When the 6-foot-5, 215-pound quarterback enrolled at Clemson last January, everyone wondered if he would be the next Deshaun Watson. Of course, Watson led the Tigers to two national championship game appearances, including a win over Alabama in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.
Along the way, Watson set a ton of Clemson records and was a two-time Heisman Trophy Finalist. He also became the first two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback, as well as winning the Manning Award in back-to-back seasons.
Arguably, right now, Watson is the most decorated player in Clemson Football history.
So, when Lawrence stepped on campus last year as the No. 1 recruit in the country, everyone just assumed he’d be another Deshaun Watson. However, that is not how Trevor Lawrence sees it.
“I just want to write my own story,” he said recently.
And so far, he is doing just that. Lawrence started the Tigers’ last 11 games last season as a true freshman and won all 11, while helping Clemson become the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0.
He is the first true freshman quarterback since 1985 to lead his team to a national championship.
In his last 10 starts, Clemson won every game by at least 20 points, including a 44-16 victory over Alabama in the national championship game. The National Freshman of the Year, and ACC Rookie of the Year, broke Watson’s single-season record for passing yards by a true freshman as he threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns, which is also a freshman record.
But none of that matters to Lawrence. He just enjoyed the ride and did not think about breaking any records.
Lawrence, who has known Watson since his high school days, respects what his predecessor did during his time at Clemson and he does not want to take anything away from what Watson accomplished. That’s his legacy.
“Like I said, I’m not looking for anything to necessarily set me apart,” Lawrence said. “When I say write my own story, I’m going to have my own experiences, and I want to do it my own way, and I’m not trying to do anything necessarily that he did or do anything better than he did really. I just want to go through my career and just have an awesome time here and obviously win a few championships along the way.”
One of the things Lawrence admires about Watson, a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Houston Texans, is his poise and how he never gets rattled.
“His poise is one thing that was awesome about him, and obviously still is as he’s doing that today in the NFL,” Lawrence said. “But just kind of how he carried himself, how he handled himself on the biggest stage, National Championships and all that … just how he carried himself was something to look up to for sure.”
Lawrence also likes the way Watson leads his team, and the way he carries himself, even off the field.
“I feel like one thing is how he leads. I feel like he’s a great leader and just how he carries himself is a big thing,” the rising sophomore said. “And obviously he’s so mentally sharp and knows what everyone is doing and watching him in the NFL, he’s making checks and getting in the right play in the right situation. Just seeing him do all that stuff is really cool.”
Move over Alabama, Clemson is the new King of College Football. In our new magazine “Little Ole Clemson”: The Best “Little” Dynasty Ever, we examine not just the 2018 team’s run to being “the best ever” but examine the last four seasons and how Dabo Swinney turned Clemson into the new dynasty of college football. We also take a look at the role former athletic director Terry Don Phillips played. We go behind the scenes at the Tigers’ run to a second national championship in three seasons and the previous three national championship runs. It also features stories on the Power Rangers, the 2018 senior class, high quality photos and much, much more.
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