Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been named as the media’s preseason favorite to win ACC Player of the Year honors, the league announced on Tuesday.
Lawrence is the third Clemson player, all quarterbacks, since 2013 to be picked as the preseason favorite. The other two were Tajh Boyd (2013) and Deshaun Watson (2015 & ’16).
Lawrence received 127 votes in this year’s ACC Preseason Player of the Year balloting. Clemson running back Travis Etienne – who earned 2018 ACC Player of the Year honors while rushing for 1,658 yards and scoring a league-record tying 26 touchdowns – placed second with 24 votes. Boston College running back AJ Dillon (15 votes), Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (6) and Florida State running back Cam Akers (1) rounded out the balloting.
Lawrence, who was the ACC’s Rookie of the Year in 2018, is also considered one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy by most preseason list, though no official list has come out from the Downtown Athletic Club in New York.
Last year, Lawrence became the first freshman since 1985 to lead his team to a national championship. He played in all 15 games for Clemson last year and was 11-0 as a starter. The Tigers won each of their last 10 games of the year by 20-plus points, including a 44-16 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.
Lawrence, who also won national freshman of the year honors in 2018, completed 20 of 32 passes against Alabama that night for 347 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. He also was the Tigers’ MVP in their Cotton Bowl Classic win over Notre Dame.
Playing against one of the nation’s best secondaries, Lawrence completed 27 of 39 passes for 327 yards and three more touchdowns in a 30-3 victory over the Irish in Arlington, Texas.
The Cartersville, Georgia native did not throw an interception in the last five games of the 2018 season, going a Clemson record 169 pass attempts without throwing a pick.
Lawrence finished his freshman year completing 65.2 percent of his 397 pass attempts for 3,280 yards. He led the ACC with 30 touchdowns and threw just four interceptions all season. He also led the league in passing efficiency, posting an overall rating of 157.6.
Clemson has gone on to have an ACC Player of the Year 10 times in its proud history. Last year, running back Travis Etienne took home the league’s top honor after he led the league in rushing, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns.
The last Clemson player to be named a preseason favorite to win the award was quarterback Deshaun Watson prior to the 2016 season. Watson was also the preseason favorite in 2015 to win the award, which he did.
Buddy Core (1967), Steve Fuller (1977 & ’78), Jeff Davis (1981), William Perry (1984), Michael Dean Perry (1987), C.J. Spiller (2009) and Tajh Boyd (2012) have also won ACC Player of the Year honors for the Tigers.
Boyd was the ACC’s preseason favorite in 2013 and former quarterback Cullen Harper was the league’s preseason choice in 2008.
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 127
- Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson – 24
- AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College – 15
- Bryce Perkins, QB, Virginia – 6
- Cam Akers, RB, Florida State – 1