Trevor Lawrence set the record straight on Friday.
The former Clemson quarterback was on ESPN’s First Take, where Stephen A. Smith asked the presumed first-pick in next Thursday’s NFL Draft to explain his comments from a recent Sports Illustrated article a little better.
Lawrence jumped at the opportunity.
“For me, it was more so I don’t feel like I have anything to prove — not because of what I’ve done or the success I’ve had, but just my personality. That’s not how I operate,” he said. “I’m internally motivated. I’m not looking for things to motivate me. I have it all inside.”
Lawrence was picked apart by the national media last week because he said in the SI article he does not have a chip on his shoulder. The All-American said people interpreted his comments the wrong way and turned his words into something they were not.
“You know how things can get blurred, where they’ll start somewhere and finish somewhere else and you never know how people are going to interpret things,” Lawrence said.
The 2020 ACC Player of the Year says he has goals and aspirations just like everyone else, but more importantly, he just loves to play the game of football.
“That was kind of the message. It was more, ‘I just love playing the game.’ I’m not motivated by other people. It’s really just internal motivation,” Lawrence said. “I don’t put my whole worth in football. I know people take that and spin it, turn it into whatever they want. But it just means that if football went away, I’d find something else to do and I’d still have a great life and enjoy my life.
“But football is where my heart’s at. It’s what I love to do. It’s what I’ve loved since I was six-years-old. This has been my dream forever and I really believe no one works harder than me. So, I think you can have both. I think people want to be one or the other. But I think, for me, that’s been one of the healthiest things is realizing that this isn’t the only thing in the world, you know? There’s more to it. But also, football’s been the biggest priority in my life, even since I can remember.”
Lawrence feels his heart, character, motivation and work ethic should have never been questioned because of the body of work he has already shown. After being rated the No. 1 overall player coming out of high school in Cartersville, Ga., he backed that up by leading Clemson to a national championship as a true freshman.
He followed up his freshman year by leading the Tigers back to the national championship game in 2019 and last year he became just the second Clemson quarterback in history to win three consecutive ACC Championships.
Along the way, he threw for 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns, while running for nearly 1,000 more yards and 18 touchdowns.
“Like I said, actions always speak louder than words,” Lawrence said. “I play the long game. Like, it doesn’t really matter if I say that or if I would’ve said, ‘Football’s everything to me. I’m never going to focus on anything else, never going to think about anything else.’
“I still got to go out and perform and execute to play well. It really doesn’t matter either way. So for me, I’m putting all my eggs in the basket of me performing well and doing what I say and just living up to everything, the expectations that I have for myself — not what other people have for me.”
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