Before Friday night’s loss to Ohio State, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence did little to make anyone think he’d return to no-pay play for another year. After the game, he said nothing to change the presumption that he’s heading to the NFL in 2021.
“I don’t really want to get into all of that tonight,” Lawrence told reporters after the game, via Marc Whiteman of WYFF. “I’m just kind of taking the loss in, a lot of stuff going on in my head. So, don’t really wanna get into all that. I’m gonna take a little bit of time for myself and be with my fiancé and family and just enjoy that. We’ve been working for I don’t know how many months straight trying to get it done here. So I’m gonna go enjoy a little bit of time. I’m sure there will be some information coming out here soon. I just wanted to sit back for a minute and take everything in.”
In other words, he didn’t want to announce that he was leaving Clemson in the immediate aftermath of what will have been his final game at Clemson. Lawrence has until mid-January to apply for early entry to the 2021 draft.
Although Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields played incredibly well and potentially forced the Jaguars to at least stop and think about whether Lawrence should be the first pick in the draft, Lawrence remains the clear top prospect. And even though the salary cap (and thus the value of Lawrence’s initial contract as the first pick) will likely drop due to the pandemic, the cap consequences of COVID-19 will have a multi-year impact on the money available to pay players. By the time Lawrence is eligible for a second contract, the revenue will be back to normal, and likely will be far bigger than ever before. The sooner he starts the clock toward becoming eligible for contract No. 2, the sooner he gets contract No. 2.
Lawrence’s comments about his future was only the No. 2 most interesting moment from his video press conference. A reporter who failed to mute her connection to the press conference said, “Poor Trevor needs to shave his ‘stache.”
Poor Trevor heard the comment, stopped what he was saying, smiled and said, “Thank you.”