If you were to ask Dabo Swinney why everyone is making a fuss over Trevor Lawrence’s comments in Sports Illustrated, when he said he does not play with a chip on his shoulder, he would point out that his former Clemson quarterback has never needed to.
Because Lawrence has always outworked everyone so he can be the best. That is enough motivation by itself.
“Watching him come in here and have this self-awareness to him … Yeah, he knows he is really talented, but he is never satisfied,” Swinney said earlier this week in the Move the Sticks podcast with Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network. “He knew he needed to get bigger, stronger, faster, more knowledgeable, all of these things. And to watch him attack that process with just great joy in his journey was really cool.
“He proved he deserved to be the guy (at Clemson). He had to go earn it. Then he does that and then he, ‘Well, let’s become the leader of the offense. Then let’s become the leader of the team. Then let’s become a leader of college football. Let’s become a leader in the community.’ So, just watching him go through that journey, it has been pretty special.”
Jeremiah and Brooks both agreed, because of the way Lawrence is grounded, being the No. 1 overall pick and the expectations that come with it are not going to be too big for him. The 2020 Heisman Trophy runner-up is expected to be selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars when the 2021 NFL Draft gets started on April 29 in Cleveland.
“I think that is really an important part of being a franchise quarterback, understanding the pressures that comes with being on the biggest stage,” Brooks said. “He has been on the big stage since he was a mid-teenager. He has always been celebrated and hailed as one of the top quarterbacks, if not the best quarterback in his (high school) class. He goes to college and is celebrated like that and now he goes to the pros and will be the number one overall pick.
“And so, this is a guy that is very comfortable in his own skin and he is always very, very passionate about playing at a high level. And I think that is what you want when you are a franchise that is in desperate need of a high-end quarterback.”
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