CLEMSON — When Trevor Lawrence signed with Clemson out of Cartersville (Ga.) High for the class of 2018, Thursday night at the NFL Draft was always the ultimate goal.
The former No. 1 recruit was often categorized as the next great quarterback. After three years with the Tigers, Lawrence has delivered on all the hype.
The superstar was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and is now the first player to go No. 1 overall in school history. His legacy was cemented before Roger Goodell called his name, but is now even larger after Thursday.
“Just a special moment,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Thursday night. “First of all, just so thankful for having the blessing of coaching Trevor for a few years, but we kind of just try to help do our part while we had him here. But let me tell ya, his family, all the people that poured into him growing up, he showed up here a great young man. Just thankful that we had an opportunity to spend the last three years together.”
All of that hard work culminated on the field. While playing for the Tigers, Lawrence compiled a 34-2 record as a starter and never lost a regular-season game. This is on top of a high school career where Lawrence never lost a regular-season game while starting all four seasons at Cartersville.
The numbers are ridiculous (10,098 passing yards, 108 total touchdowns) and this is a player who moves the needle. His presence helped Clemson win a national championship his freshman year and make the College Football Playoff his other two seasons. The Jaguars are getting a special player to build their franchise around, and many will remember Thursday night.
“A great moment for Clemson as well,” said Swinney. “There’s been a lot of things that have happened at Clemson over the years, but this is one of them that has never happened. He’s leaving here as the winningest quarterback, led us to a 15-0 season, now the first No. 1 pick in the history of our school. It’s a great moment for everyone.”
Lawrence delivered on the potential and Clemson played a part in helping him get there.
“We knew this was a possibility, but it comes down to putting the work in day in and day out,” Swinney said. “It’s just been a joy to watch him do just that. This guy is incredibly disciplined and committed, and just super cool moment to be a part of this.”