For all that was made of the Dabo Swinney vs. Florida State administration feud (also known as the latest chapter in Dabo Swinney vs. The World), one aspect of last week’s game between the Tigers and the Seminoles getting postponed at the last minute that has gone under-discussed is the delayed return of Trevor Lawrence.
While the “Tank for Trevor” efforts are clearly all the rage in the NFL, we haven’t seen Lawrence play in more than a month. Prior to his positive COVID-19 test, Lawrence was pacing as one of the most productive and efficient quarterbacks in the entire country. He had a top-10 passer rating, top-10 completion percentage and 17 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Because he’s been a dominant piece of the college football conversation since the start of the 2018 season, Lawrence’s place among the elite quarterback talents is so entrenched that his actual production gets overlooked.
Freshman D.J. Uiagalelei was fantastic in relief of Lawrence, but the Tigers absolutely welcome the return of their quarterback who carries a 31-1 record as a starter. Saturday’s game against Pitt is not only a chance to get back into rhythm on the field but to tie Deshaun Watson, Tajh Boyd and Rodney Williams for the career wins record at Clemson, not to mention a handful of other school records that are in reach over the next couple weeks. It’s also Senior Day in Death Valley, and while Lawrence has not committed to one decision or the other, the assumption is that he will exit with this year’s senior class given all that interest in the “Tank for Trevor” movement.
Week 13 Odds, Picks
Friday — No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina
If Sam Howell and the Tar Heels offense can score early and turn this into a back-and-forth affair, it favors the North Carolina. The last time we saw Notre Dame’s defense, it wasn’t great and I’m expecting a little bit of rust with the extra week off leading up to this Friday afternoon kickoff. One path to victory for Notre Dame is to squeeze the life out of the game by winning the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Irish have one of the best rushing attacks in the ACC and stopping the Tar Heels’ ground game is the key to slowing their offense. But all that goes out the window if North Carolina can score early and get into rhythm offensively. Pick: North Carolina +4.5
NC State at Syracuse
While the Wolfpack’s win against Liberty was a great one for the team, it was not the best night for the offense. Thankfully, NC State’s defense, which has stepped up to the plate a few times this season (Virginia and Duke wins come to mind), was there to lead the way to victory. Syracuse has not been able to muster much offense either, so instead of counting NC State to have a bounce back performance
Clemson Tigers starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence — the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on college football’s No. 1 team and seen as the likely top pick of the 2021 NFL draft should he leave college early — has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not play in Saturday’s game against Boston College.
“Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement Thursday. “He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College. While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we’re excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers.”
Following Swinney’s statement, Lawrence, a junior, released his own statement on Twitter.
“I have tested positive for COVID-19, and my symptoms have been relatively mild while I’m following the protocol from Clemson and the ACC,” Lawrence said. “The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love. I hate that I can’t be there, but I’ll be watching from isolation and pulling for our guys while I wait for the opportunity to rejoin the team.”
Per guidelines from the Atlantic Coast Conference, which Clemson is a member of, a student-athlete who tests positive for Covid-19 shall be isolated for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or positive test before returning to football activity.
This means that Lawrence might also miss the team’s November 7 football game against undefeated No. 4 Notre Dame. Clemson is No. 1 in the polls at 6-0.
Lawrence has completed 70.7% of his passes for 17 touchdowns this season. He’s also rushed for four touchdowns.
Ahead of the 2020 college football season, when conferences were weighing whether to play amid the pandemic, Lawrence was one of the high-profile players to express support playing with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.
“We really do feel safe here,” Lawrence told reporters in August. “Hopefully it’s like that everywhere … We feel safer here than anywhere else, honestly.”
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, projected by nearly everyone to be the top pick in the next NFL draft, appeared to leave the door open that he might return for his senior season with the Tigers after all.
On a Zoom call with media members on Tuesday, Lawrence was asked if he might consider coming back to Clemson for another year.
“I don’t know, we’ll just have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of factors in that,” he answered.
“My mindset’s been that I’m going to move on, but who knows?” he continued. “There’s a lot of things that could happen. I’m just really focusing on this year and not trying to look ahead. … That’s a tough one, but we’ll see how it all unfolds.”
It wouldn’t be a stretch to infer that one possible factor could be which team ends up with the first overall pick. The 0-7 Jets currently stand as the front-runner.
But even if the lone remaining winless team in the NFL does get that pick, it would be difficult to imagine Lawrence would stay out of the draft just for that reason, especially if the campaign concludes with a Heisman Trophy and another playoff appearance for the Tigers. Lawrence said in September he was planning on the 2020 season to be his last at Clemson.
Meanwhile, Lawrence and the Tigers are preparing for a home date with Boston College before a likely top-five showdown at Notre Dame next week.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for Covid-19, putting into doubt whether the face of college football will be available to play the top-ranked Tigers’ biggest game of the season.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement released by the school Thursday night that Lawrence is in isolation with mild symptoms.
Swinney said Lawrence would miss Clemson’s game Saturday against Boston College. The Tigers are scheduled to play No 4 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on 7 November.
Individuals who test positive for Covid-19 must isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
Lawrence said in a statement on Twitter that his symptoms have been “relatively mild” and he was following protocol fron Clemson and the ACC about the virus.
“The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love,” he said.
Lawrence said he’d be watching and cheering for the Tigers from isolation.
The junior from Georgia is a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and potentially the top overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. He led the Tigers (6-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a national championship as a freshman and back to the College Football playoff championship game last season. Clemson’s loss to LSU in the title game was the first and still only game the Tigers have lost in Lawrence’s 32 career starts.
Clemson is tested three times a week per Atlantic Coast Conference protocol.
Lawrence created a stir earlier this week when asked about his NFL future said he still had the option to stay or leave.
“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said Tuesday. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”
Swinney said that while Lawrence will be missed against the Eagles (4-2, 3-2), it was an “opportunity for other guys to step up”.
Freshman passer DJ Uiagalelei has been the first in after Lawrence this season when games get out of hand. Uiagalelei, at 6ft 4in and 250lbs, was rated the country’s second-best college prospect by Rivals.com last season. He enrolled in January and went through spring drills until the coronavirus pandemic shut down college sports last March.
Uiagalelei has completed 12 of 19 passes for 102 yards. The Tigers also have used sophomore Taisun Phommachanh and Hunter Helms at quarterback this season.
Clemson has won its past 27 games against ACC competition and the past nine against Boston College.
The latest episode came about 8:30 p.m. Thursday night with the first reports that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence tested positive for the coronavirus. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Lawrence was experiencing mild symptoms, had isolated at his residence and will not play Saturday at Boston College.
The Heisman Trophy front-runner quarterback for the No. 1 team in the country, and the potential No. 1 pick in April’s 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, has COVID-19. He also may not play next week against Notre Dame in a potential top-five matchup with major College Football Playoff ramifications.
Lawrence reportedly tested positive on Wednesday, the same day Wisconsin announced it would not be able to play Saturday’s game at Nebraska due to its own outbreak. The program said Thursday the number of infected individuals has grown to 16 players and staff.
The Big Ten made it through one weekend before its first cancellation. But it was the 37th game either wiped out or cancelled due to positive tests or contact tracing issues.
Positivity rates continue to climb across the country. The U.S. established a high for new infections on Thursday with 86,000, breaking the record set last Friday. That included a record 3,590 from Ohio, topping the previous high mark set last Sunday by about 700.
The only thing we can be completely sure of is this virus will affect each week of the college football season from here on in. It will happen either in small ways, such as the increased mix of diligence and paranoia that inhabits each team, or major ones such as this week’s announcements from Wisconsin and Clemson.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19, putting into doubt whether the face of college football will be available to play the top-ranked Tigers’ biggest game of the regular season.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement released by the school Thursday night that Lawrence is in isolation with mild symptoms. Swinney said Lawrence would miss Clemson’s game Saturday against Boston College. The Tigers are scheduled to play No. 4 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on Nov. 7.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for a minimum of 10 days.
The junior from Georgia is a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and potentially the top overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. He led the Tigers (6-0) to a national championship as a freshman and back to the College Football playoff championship game last season. Clemson’s loss to LSU in the title game was the first — and still only — game the Tigers have lost in Lawrence’s 32 career starts.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.
Lawrence released a statement via Clemson’s Twitter account.
“I have tested positive for COVID-19, and my symptoms have been relatively mild while I’m following the protocol from Clemson and the ACC,” Lawrence said. “The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love. I hate that I can’t be there, but I’ll be watching from isolation and pulling for our guys while I wait for the opportunity to rejoin the team. God bless and Go Tigers!”
In a separate statement, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney confirmed initial reports that Lawrence tested positive.
“Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation,” Swinney said. “He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College. While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we’re excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers.”
No one from Boston College was available for comment. The Eagles’ program has had just one player test positive for COVID since returning for voluntary workouts in June. They’ve conducted more than 5,500 tests.
When the NCAA allowed teams to return over the summer, Clemson was immediately hit hard with infections. The program shut down voluntary workouts in June after an outbreak of 37 infected players and staff members.
Since June, the Clemson athletic department has conducted 11,554 COVID-19 tests, with 173 positive results, and 137 of those positives were student-athletes. Thirty-six were staff. None of them needed to be hospitalized.
According to a New York Times report on Oct. 8, the 4,082 confirmed COVID cases on Clemson’s campus was second only to the University of Georgia among colleges nationwide. Clemson is now up to 4,565 cumulative positive cases since it started testing in June.
Swinney was among the more outspoken coaches pushing for the return of college football this year. While sports were suspended in April, he told ESPN he had “zero doubt” that the college football season would start on time.
“That’s just my mind-set. I’ve got one plan, and that’s to get the Tigers ready to play in late August, early September,” Swinney said. “I’ll leave it to the smart people to figure out the doomsday scenarios. We’ve got one scenario, and that’s to run down that hill and kick it off in the valley.”
Lawrence, who has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns for the 6-0 Tigers, was asked Wednesday about the protocols at Clemson.
“Just trying to stay safe,” he said. “You can’t control it obviously. There’s some situations where guys get it, you just don’t know how to get it. But I’m just
Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Saturday’s game against Boston College according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network was the first to report the test result.
Lawrence is a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, and he has not missed a game in his three seasons at Clemson prior to this.
A statement from the university is expected soon.
The rules set forth by the ACC’s Medical Advisory Group require anyone testing positive for COVID-19 to isolate for at least 10 days after the test before returning to practice, assuming they are no longer showing symptoms. That would also put Lawrence at risk for missing the Nov. 7 showdown with No. 4 Notre Dame.
While Lawrence has never missed a start for Clemson since taking over the offense in September 2018, he did go down with an injury in the first half of his first start against Syracuse that year. Chase Brice came on in relief and led a fourth-quarter comeback that preserved the Tigers’ perfect record, and Clemson went on to win the national championship.
Brice is now the starter at Duke after transferring this offseason. That likely leaves true freshman D.J. Uiagalelei as the presumed starter for the Tigers. Uiagalelei has seen limited action this season, completing 12-of-19 passes for 102 yards and scoring two rushing touchdowns. He was the No. 1 overall QB recruit in the country for 2020.
Lawrence was in the midst of a stellar start to his 2020 campaign, completing 71% of his throws with 21 total touchdowns through six games.
Information from ESPN’s Andrea Adelson and Holly Rowe was used in this report.
Boston College (4-2) travels to No. 1 Clemson (6-0) this weekend for a noon kick against the Tigers. While this is the first meeting between the two teams under first-year BC head coach Jeff Hafley, he’s no stranger to Dabo Swinney nor Clemson’s personnel.
Having served as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach last season, the two were on opposing sidelines for the College Football Playoff Semifinal Fiesta Bowl thriller in Arizona.
Hafley knows all too well about scheming against Clemson’s sensational duo of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.
“I think (Lawerence) is even greatly improved from last year,” Hafley said. “The way he plays in the pocket, I think it’s better. He sits there, he reads things, sees things late and makes throws. He’s got such a live body. He’s a twitched up big guy who can run and throw. He’s a really good player and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Hafley was also very gracious in his comments on Clemson’s star running back and the program’s all-time leading scorer.
“I think that running back is the most underrated player in college football. The way he runs–it’s like he’s on a mission constantly. I saw it firsthand last year and watched him on tape,” he said. “Between the coaching staff, the weapons they have, the wideouts. It’s a dynamic offense but we’re going to do our best to stop it.”
Hafley said he believes the staff has come up with a great game plan and he’s excited for the challenge. He also spoke well of Swinney and their initial encounters ahead of Saturday’s ACC tilt in Death Valley and the two have mutual respect for each other.
“He’s done an unbelievable job there. I got a chance to meet him last year at the bowl game,” Hafley said of Dabo Swinney. “He and his wife were really nice to me as a young coach getting ready to try and win a game and put a staff together for the first time. He was awesome.
“I have a ton of respect for him and the way he treated me through the offseason. I just love the way he goes about everything. He’s got a great personality, he’s a football guy and cares so much about the game.”
Swinney echoed those same sentiments of Hafley as well and expects another typical another hard-nosed and physical Boston College squad to visit Death Valley this weekend.
“He’s a heck of a coach and done a great job. I was around him at the bowl game last year and we had a couple of functions so that was the first time I met him,” Swinney said in his Sunday teleconference. “He had actually just gotten the job so we swapped numbers and I’ve talked to him once or twice. But we were on zoom calls every week since March so I feel like I know him well.”