Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence became the first true freshman to lead his team to a national championship since 1985, defeating Alabama 44-16 on Monday night.
The noise about Lawrence being the next great thing in football was soft going into the matchup, but after his dominant performance over the Crimson Tide there is no more doubt on how much hype there is around the 19-year-old.
“My man is a true freshman,” current Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who also led Clemson to a national title over Alabama, told ESPN. “He’s got at least two more years to do work. He’s gonna be a legend. He already is. People know that now.”
CLEMSON DEFEATS NO. 1 ALABAMA, WINS NATIONAL TITLE
In the win over Alabama, Lawrence was 20-for-32 with 347 passing yards and three touchdown passes. He threw one to Justyn Ross, another to Tee Higgins and one to Travis Etienne.
It wasn’t only Watson who was giving him high praise. Social media was alight with praise for Lawrence during and after the game.
“Trevor Lawrence is the best true freshman QB I’ve ever seen. If I was running an NFL team, I’d be making trades for as many 2021 picks I could get my hands on,” Gil Brandt, a former executive for the Dallas Cowboys and current NFL Network analyst, tweeted.
Pro Football Talk lamented that Lawrence will have to stay in school for two more seasons.
“Trevor Lawrence showed in leading Clemson to the national championship that he could play pro football now. NFL rules force him to stay two more years in college,” the website tweeted.
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Clemson coach Dabo Swinney recalled allowing Lawrence to take over for senior Kelly Bryant in Week 5 during the season. Swinney said he never thought it was a risky move.
“He’s gonna be a legend.”
“That was never the conversation in the building,” he said. “From the time he walked into that building in January, just a couple of weeks removed from eating in the high school cafeteria, we knew he was the real deal. He was a leader, day one. And, oh, by the way, he can sling that dang football around, too, can’t he?”
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Lawrence will have to stay in school for two more seasons before making the move to the NFL. And though an NFL-ready player staying in school for that long might be worrisome, Lawrence has one thing on his mind: winning more championships.