Dabo Swinney says if winning the Heisman Trophy was the number one goal at Clemson than the program would already have one and there is no doubt Trevor Lawrence would win it this year.
The Tigers’ star quarterback, who is considered by most to be the top pick in April’s NFL Draft, was once the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy but has since slipped behind Alabama’s Mac Jones and Florida’s Kyle Trask for the country’s most outstanding player award, primarily due to the fact he missed back-to-back starts after testing positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 29.
“If our goal was for him to win the Heisman, he would be leading the Heisman right now. There is no doubt about that, but that is not our goal,” Swinney said during his Tuesday press conference. “Our goal is to win the game.”
Swinney mentioned a statistic former Clemson SID Tim Bourret released on Monday. According to Bourret, Lawrence has played in the fourth quarter in just 20 of the 37 career games he has appeared in.
“Almost half of his games he has not played in the fourth quarter,” Swinney said. “He has been on a dominant football team. We have won more games in the last five years than anybody in the history of college football. He has been a dominant player.
“Unfortunately, the Heisman is a lot about stats. And Trevor’s stats are through the roof. They are crazy stats. If that was our number one goal, to win a Heisman, we would already have one. That is not the goal. This is not a program built on individual things.”
In the seven games he has played in thus far in 2020, Lawrence has had a tremendous season. He currently leads the ACC and ranks eighth nationally in passing yards per game (319.4). He has thrown 19 touchdown passes to just two interceptions and is completing 71 percent of his passes (tops in the ACC) with a passing efficiency rating of 178.74 (also best in the ACC).
To top it off, Lawrence has four rushing touchdowns to his credit.
“The trophy we want to win is the team trophy. If it happens, it happens,” Swinney said. “But the best player in the country is Trevor Lawrence. I don’t really care what anybody says. There are a lot of great players out there, but the best player in the country is Trevor Lawrence.
“So, that is just the way it is. He does not need to win the Heisman for that to be the case. Most logical people out there know that, but it is all about stats and this type of stuff. But this guy is, play in and play out, and if you really watch him, it is unbelievable. That is why he will be the first pick in the draft. And it will not be close. It will not be close.”
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