After a strong 2019 season that ended with a disappointing finale in the national championship game, the Clemson Tigers and quarterback Trevor Lawrence were back on the field Wednesday for their first practice of the spring.
With some stars from last year’s team gone and new faces making their way into the program, it was a great day for Lawrence and the Tigers to take the field.
“It feels good to be back,” the rising junior said. “We’ve got a good group but it’s different. The first spring practice is always kind of weird, you don’t see all of the guys that are gone and then the guys that just got here. It’s great to be getting back to work.”
Suffering a loss in the national championship last season, Lawrence was dealt his first collegiate loss. Nerve racking for anyone, he is ready to move on from the game and prepare for another successful season.
“It makes you want to go back out and earn it all again,” said the starting quarterback. “It all starts over which is a good feeling, everyone’s already looking to next year. We feel like we’re back in the fight and you can work to get where you want to be, so it’s about taking it day by day. It’s going to be a long off-season so we really need to maximize each day.”
Not only is Lawrence ready to get back to work, his mind set hasn’t changed since he stepped foot on campus. Even with experiencing his first loss, the young quarterback’s identity remains strong.
“It didn’t change how I would have responded whether we won or lost,” said Lawrence, who is now 25-1 as Clemson’s starting quarterback. “It is a different feeling though… It’s almost easier to come back after you lose that game because you’re ready to get started again. When you win it you want another week of the offseason to enjoy it, but you’re ready to get back, especially when you lose in the last game.
“That’s just how I want to be though is just consistent and never really go up and down. After that loss, I just wanted to be the same guy in that locker room.”
Ending the season in such a disappointing way with a lot left to be desired, Lawrence has some work to do to help lead the Tigers back to the big game. Lawrence has keyed in on some specific areas where he has looked to work harder and develop further.
“Working in the weight room, keep getting stronger and putting on weight,” said Lawrence. “I say that every year as it’s something that’s important. Leadership as well, becoming a better leader. I think I did a good job last year. I’ve just got to open up that role now as an upperclassman.”
When it comes to leadership for the upcoming season, Lawrence looks like he will be getting some big help. As star running back Travis Etienne returns for his senior year at Clemson, his leadership will give Lawrence a lot of support within the offense.
“Obviously, I was happy to see him coming back,” Lawrence said. “We had some private conversations before he decided what he was going to do. It’s awesome to have him back though, he’s just a great guy. It’s a good opportunity for him to build his leadership, I mean everyone’s looking at him now. Especially on this team he’s a big leader for us and I think it will be good for him.”
It looks like the Clemson offense will be in good hands heading into next season.
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