COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Clemson returns to Atlanta on Saturday for the first time since Trevor Lawrence’s coming out party.
In 2018, following a great outing at Georgia Tech, Lawrence, then a true freshman and the backup quarterback, cemented his spot as the Tigers’ top signal-caller.
“You just know when you know,” Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said. “I knew it was the right thing to do for the team for us to be able to reach our potential. He’s just an amazing player.”
Against the Yellow Jackets, Lawrence went 13-of-18 passing for 176 yards and four touchdowns near his hometown of Cartersville, Georgia.
“Was ready,” Lawrence said. “I knew the game plan, been studying. Did whatever I could, took what they gave me, ended up playing a really good game, which was cool. Being 30-45 minutes from my house was really cool. I had a lot of people there, family and friends. It was a lot of fun.”
The hours that followed the game were difficult, as Swinney would name Lawrence the starter over Kelly Bryant.
“It was a tough bus ride home for me because I knew what the right thing to do for the team was,” Swinney said.
“Mixed emotions for me, for sure,” Lawrence added. “I was happy, something I had worked for and was hoping would happen eventually.”
After all, replacing Bryant, his friend and teammate at the time who was an accomplished QB in his own right, was not comfortable for Lawrence. Bryant left the program days following the decision.
“Kelly was one of my friends,” Lawrence said. “We were close. It was a weird situation because you know how long he’s been here and how hard he’s worked. Definitely, not the easiest thing.”
Lawrence proved to be a great choice to command the huddle. The junior quarterback is 29-1 as a starter, a national champion, and a two-time ACC champion. Swinney calls Lawrence a one of a kind player, who is sure to shine at the next level.
“He loves the whole process of being a football player and getting better,” Swinney mentioned. “I think he’s got attributes of all the greats that I’ve been around and that I’ve seen.”
Lawrence understands his pro days are soon approaching. His focus, though, remains on being the best version of himself for Clemson.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Lawrence added. “I realize how fortunate I am to be at a place like Clemson, surrounded by really good people. That makes it a lot easier to be great where my feet are.”
Lawrence needs four more victories to become Clemson’s all-time winningest quarterback.
He’ll look to add one more to his total on Saturday when the Tigers take on the Yellow Jackets at noon.