After Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame, Clemson is more than ready to welcome Trevor Lawrence back to practice. That is expected to happen this week.
But how much longer will the Tigers get to appreciate their star quarterback?
Two weeks ago, Lawrence said his mindset was to turn pro after this season but added “who knows?” It created a brouhaha, with everyone questioning whether perhaps Lawrence was setting the stage to avoid being drafted by a certain team or teams.
The presumptive No.1 overall choice clarified Monday that he simply is leaving his options open.
“I’m just trying to enjoy my last few months here if that’s what I decide to do,” Lawrence said, via David Hale of ESPN. “I’m just trying to enjoy it, and obviously I’m not trying to make a stir. I don’t want any more people talking about me than they already are, so my thing is I’m just never going to corner myself to where I have to do something just because of something I said in the past.”
Lawrence, a junior, is on track to graduate in December. It would come as a huge surprise if he returns to Clemson in 2021, but that option obviously is on the table if he so chooses.
“My mindset is the same, but I really don’t want to talk about it anymore,” said Lawrence, who missed two games after testing positive for COVID-19. “People want me to say no matter what, for sure I’m leaving school, and that’s just not something I’m going to say. That’s as simple as it is. I’m never going to corner myself like that, but that’s what people want to hear. I want to leave myself opportunities to take everything in and make a decision and obviously I’m not going to say that for sure I’m staying or for sure I’m leaving, and it turns out that caused more of a commotion than if I hadn’t said anything.”
The Jets currently are the NFL’s only winless team and Sam Darnold already has fielded questions about his team drafting Lawrence.
In 1997, the Jets owned the first overall pick. Peyton Manning was set to be the top pick if he left Tennessee, but he opted to remain in school another year and went to the Colts with the top pick the next year.