Lawrence Trevor

Trevor Lawrence Is the QB Prospect Your NFL Franchise Has Been Dreaming of

Ross D. Franklin/Associated PressEnjoy it. Every touchdown pass. Every perfectly placed ball. Every scramble where his long, blond hair takes flight. Appreciate every single one of Trevor Lawrence’s collegiate moments while you can, because he won’t be ours much longer.Appreciate it. The No. 1 high school football player in America is the No. 1 player…

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) is congratulated after Clemson defeated Ohio State 29-23 in the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football playoff semifinal Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Enjoy it. Every touchdown pass. Every perfectly placed ball. Every scramble where his long, blond hair takes flight. Appreciate every single one of Trevor Lawrence’s collegiate moments while you can, because he won’t be ours much longer.

Appreciate it. The No. 1 high school football player in America is the No. 1 player in college football—a quarterback worth tanking for. He was an NFL prospect by his junior year in high school, and now he’s a player that will change an NFL franchise’s future.

Embrace it. He looks the part at 6’6″ and 220 pounds. His right arm is powerful and accurate. He can run. He can read defenses. He has fire—emotion that shows up when it’s required. The list of pros drastically outweighs the list of cons, and if you’re a fan of a struggling, hopeless NFL team, you’re plenty aware of all of this by now. 

#TankForTrevor is a movement you can get behind. It’s perfect, really. If you’re an NFL team that is part of this campaign—looking directly at you, New York Jets—it could be more than that.

But Lawrence isn’t perfect. On Saturday against Georgia Tech, he threw an interception. Gasp.

It was his first interception of the season and his first in almost a full calendar year—a stretch that lasted 366 throws. It wasn’t quite an ACC record; former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson went 379 throws without a pick. But he was close. 

“I think I played well today,” Lawrence said after the game. “That’s the biggest thing coming away from the game; I feel like mentally I was prepared. I think I progressed well, went through my reads, took care of the ball for the most part.

“That one play, even though it was an interception, I feel like my decision was still OK. We had one-on-one and that guy just made a good play. From that standpoint, it’s going to happen in football, especially in the offense we run. We take a lot of shots. It’s going to happen, but I’m really happy with the way our whole offense played today.”

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

This was the lone blemish. In fact, as if you weren’t properly convinced over the past few seasons, this was Lawrence’s moment. He threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns, both career bests, and he played only one drive in the second half because the outcome was already decided. The final score, a video game-esque 73-7 Clemson rout, could’ve been much worse had Lawrence been asked to do more.

For the season, Lawrence has scored 19 touchdowns (15 passing). He’s completed more than 70 percent of his passes in all but one game. He’s averaging more than 300 yards passing per game.

For his career, Lawrence is still 30-1. He’s lost just one game—last year’s national championship to LSUbut is unbeaten otherwise. Not perfect, but close to it.

When he arrived at Clemson, he was expected, perhaps unfairly, to take the baton from former quarterback Deshaun Watson and elevate the Tigers to another level. He has done this with a certain grace and brilliance that has outperformed even the wildest expectations.   

It’s not supposed to be this easy. The No. 1 football player in America is not supposed to arrive at a thriving powerhouse and win a national championship in his first year. The resume is not supposed to be this clean. 

The way Lawrence has met and exceeded expectations feels almost LeBron-like. A larger-than-life talent who has become everything one hoped he would one day become. Playing the most important and critiqued position in all of sports, Lawrence has made greatness feel natural.

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

One might even say it’s almost boring. Methodical. Predictable. We accept his greatness. With an expectation of blowouts in many of Clemson’s games, his greatness is likely being taken for granted. But there are moments, as was the case on Saturday, when the throws and the output are so great that it simply can’t be ignored.

With each touchdown pass, a new movement appears. While Lawrence and Clemson are chasing a national championship, the NFL draft process, which knows no offseason or downtime, is chasing him. 

Lawrence has not cooled this talk. He’s made his future known. “I’m graduating in December,” he said earlier this year. “[I’m] planning on this being my last year.” 

As if there were any doubt, the pro buzz has already kicked into overdrive. Each Sunday, as the league’s bottom-feeders slosh through another weekend, Lawrence’s influence grows. The wait for one lucky NFL team grows shorter. His potential impact at a level of football he is still months from being eligible for takes shape. 

It’s understandable. If you’re the Jets or the Giants or another floundering franchise in search of something, he is that something. Lawrence is hope and greatness and optimism bottled up in one long-haired prospect.

He represents a parachute out of inefficiency. He is a player whose superhero billing feels almost appropriate. 

Over the past two-plus years, Lawrence has shown the world that he is as advertised. Only now, he appears to be getting better. Sharper. Stronger. Bigger. The days until his NFL arrival are shrinking. The combination of talent and desperation make for an intoxicating cocktail.  

But don’t take what’s happening for granted. Don’t let the draft obsession derail the final stretch of one of the greatest quarterbacks college football has ever seen. 

Think big. If you’re a fan of an NFL franchise in need of a jolt, keep dreaming. But appreciate the journey. Celebrate each throw. Don’t fixate on the future when the now is close to perfection, with an interception sprinkled in every now and then.

Celebrate every moment while it happens when it happens, because it won’t be long now.

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