Quarterback officially declares for the NFL Draft
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is no longer the Clemson quarterback. As expected, the Heisman Trophy runner-up declared himself eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft on Wednesday.
Lawrence made his announcement with a video he released on his social media platforms thanking the Clemson Family for supporting his journey in Tigertown the last three years.
“When I look back on it, I hope my legacy at Clemson is that I was a great teammate and a great person,” Lawrence said in the video. “Overall, more than football, more than how I played each game, it is how I treated people. I want that to be the main thing that I am known for. I feel like, over the last three years, that is a thing I kept as a priority, just treating people well and being a good person. I hope that is my legacy when I leave here.”
Lawrence’s legacy will also be the fact he was 34-2 as a starter at Clemson, the best win-loss record in Clemson history. His 34 wins are also a record for his school. He also guided the Tigers to three appearances in the College Football Playoff and to two national championship games, while winning it all for Clemson in 2018.
He leaves Clemson as one of three national championship quarterbacks, joining Homer Jordan (1981) and Deshaun Watson (2016) in that very exclusive club. More importantly, Lawrence leaves Clemson with his college degree.
“I have learned a lot from Coach [Dabo] Swinney and just from all of my coaches,” Lawrence said. “Really, Coach [Brandon] Streeter, offensive coordinator Coach [Tony] Elliott, all the position coaches, support staff, everyone has been so good to me and has treated me like family since I have gotten here, and that faith aspect has really been the most important thing in my life.”
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 this past season.
Lawrence also joined former Clemson great Rodney Williams as the only Clemson quarterbacks to win three straight ACC Championships.
“To all of my teammates over the past three years, it has been the most fun ride I have been on,” Lawrence said. “As I look back at these three years, I have the best memories. Winning the national championship, winning a lot of games and just not even that, more so all the little moments, being in the locker room, being in practice, spending everyday together and just having those memories of us just laughing and cutting up. Just enjoying life together. Those are things I will remember forever.”
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 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.
“When I look at my life as a whole so far, just this journey of 21 years, the most formative years have been my time here at Clemson,” he said. “Like I said, it has taught me how to be a better man, no doubt. That is the biggest takeaway, really. Obviously, it has made me a better football player, but that is kind of secondary to what it has taught me about life.
“I really feel like I am a man now and I am ready to take on those challenges and I am super excited for life ahead. The best is always yet to come, but I am grateful to Clemson and I am going to miss it.”
Thank you, Clemson… pic.twitter.com/JDbM8aYYGv
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) January 6, 2021