Lawrence, Clemson shunned in Heisman race

Lawrence, Clemson shunned in Heisman race

Football

Lawrence, Clemson shunned in Heisman race

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Tigers' quarterback finishes second in the voting to Alabama's Smith

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence joined Deshaun Watson as another Tiger who missed out on a Heisman Trophy despite having a storied college career.

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Trophy on Tuesday night, becoming the first wide receiver since Desmond Howard in 1991 to win the award which goes to the Most Outstanding Player in College Football. He is third Alabama player, all under Nick Saban, to win the Heisman Trophy.

Lawrence, who guided Clemson to the 2018 National Championship, was the runner-up in the Heisman voting. The Clemson quarterback tallied 1,187 points. He had 222 first place votes, which was second to Smith’s 447. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones finished third with 138 first place votes and 1,130 points.

The junior joins former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson as the runner-up for the award. They are the only two Clemson players to finish as runner-ups. Clemson has never had a Heisman Trophy winner.

Watson was the runner-up to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in 2016. Watson also finished third in the Heisman balloting in 2015 when he was a finalist that year as well.

Projected by many to be the first overall pick in the year’s NFL Draft, Lawrence led Clemson to a sixth straight ACC Championship this season, while throwing for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He completed 69.2 percent of his 334 passes. He averaged a Clemson record 315.3 yards per game through the air in 2020.

He also rushed for 203 yards and scored eight touchdowns. Lawrence led the ACC in passing yards per game and completion percentage.

In addition to his on-field efforts, Lawrence has had a transcendent impact off the field as well, earning a selection on this year’s AFCA Good Works Team.

Last March, he and his now-fiancée helped organize COVID-19 relief efforts in both Upstate South Carolina and his home community of Cartersville. Over the summer, he was one of four Clemson players who helped organize and lead the Clemson Community Peaceful Demonstration that attracted several thousand people to Clemson’s campus.

And in August, Lawrence vocally ignited the #WeWantToPlay movement, mobilizing college football players around the country in support of playing the college football season safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Lawrence leading the way, Clemson once again made it back to the College Football Playoff for a sixth straight year. The Tigers led the ACC in scoring offense (43.5 ppg) and passing offense (348.5 ypg) and were second in total offense (502.3 ypg).

Last month, the ACC named Lawrence as its ACC Player of the Year, as well as its Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named as the Associated Press’ Offensive Player of the Year in the ACC. The Football Writers Association of America also named as its First-Team All-American quarterback.

The Cartersville, Ga., native was also voted as the MVP in the ACC Championship Game after he completed 25-of-36 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 90 yards and another score in the Tigers’ 34-10 win over then No. 2 Notre Dame.

Lawrence concluded his career with a 34-2 (.944) record as a starter, the third-best winning percentage by a starting quarterback with at least 30 career starts since Division I split in 1978, trailing only Miami’s Ken Dorsey (.950) and USC’s Matt Leinart (.949), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The quarterback also became the third Clemson player ever to throw for 10,000 career passing yards in a career. Tajh Boyd (11,904) and Deshaun Watson (10,163) presently rank No. 1 and No. 2 in career passing yards in school history, while Lawrence’s 10,098 yards ranks third.

John Heisman, whom the award is named after, coached at Clemson from 1900-’03. Heisman led Clemson to a 19-3-2 record during his four years at Clemson, while winning three SIAA Conference Championships.

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