When Trevor Lawrence spiked the football in front of Miami’s Gilbert Frierson after scoring on a 3-yard run and then stared face-to-face at the linebacker, his head coach was not happy.
Lawrence, who is the face of not only Clemson, but college football as well, drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions. When he got to the sideline, Swinney expressed his displeasure to his star quarterback.
After the game, Lawrence apologized for his actions when he spoke to the media. And though he understands why the 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior got caught up in the moment, Swinney does not condone the way he handled it.
“Next time, I am going to put him on kickoff coverage. I am going to let him go cover the kick,” the Clemson coach said bluntly on Tuesday.
Swinney says he holds Lawrence to the same standard he does all of his players, and in fact, he is probably even harder on the Heisman Trophy candidate. However, for the most part, Lawrence stays out of his head coach’s doghouse.
“These guys all know, I am tougher on guys like Trevor than I am anybody. I always have been,” he said. “It has always been the case here. Unfortunately, for me, I don’t get many opportunities with Trevor. He makes it really, really hard for me.
“I did have a moment the other day because he spiked the ball. When he gets to New York or wherever you think he is going, he can spike the ball and do whatever he wants to do, but not here. It was a good opportunity for me to get on to him. He was fired up for a second.”
Lawrence says in big games like against the Hurricanes, it is not unusual for players on the other teams to talk trash to him, which he says he welcomes. It is just part of it, so he usually gives a little back.
“I kind of welcome that, like I said, that is what football is. It is fun. Guys get a little emotional and excited and have a little fun playing,” he said.
What Swinney likes about Lawrence, even when he gets in trouble, he is easy to coach. He understands why he is getting jumped on and he handles it professionally.
“That is what I love about him. He loves that,” Swinney said. “He loves to be challenged and coached. He makes it hard on us. (Brandon) Streeter has done an amazing job with him. But he loves that, our best players have to be our most disciplined guys and with our best teams that is the way it has been.”
A great gift for any Tiger fan. Just one of many great items available from Clemson Variety & Frame