There’s no sugarcoating it. Trevor Lawrence and the ACC Champion Clemson Tigers lived out their worst nightmare in Friday’s Sugar Bowl, taking a beating at the hands of Ohio State, who were no doubt motivated by Dabo Swinney’s rankings snub weeks earlier.
Pegged as touchdown favorites, the Tigers crashed and burned in New Orleans, spending the bulk of their evening playing from behind in a game Clemson fans will want to forget. Lawrence, who, as recently as 24 hours ago was considered a lock for the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, did himself no favors, committing two turnovers while being roundly outplayed by his Ohio State counterpart Justin Fields (who miraculously shrugged off this seismic—not to mention highly illegal—hit from Clemson linebacker James Skalski).
You could understand Lawrence being short with the media in the immediate aftermath of the most devastating loss of his career, a defeat made more painful by the fact it likely ended his memorable three-year run at Clemson. But Lawrence, who threw for 400 yards on 33-of-48 passing (68.8 completion percentage) in the losing effort, instead kept his composure, even cracking a smile when this happened.
That’s what the mute button is for, folks. Honestly, in the COVID age with reporters conducting interviews virtually for the first time, it’s surprising slipups like this don’t happen more often. It’s a testament to Lawrence’s poise that, amid his most public failure, he could still laugh at a reporter mocking his futile attempt at growing facial hair.
After coming up short against the Buckeyes, would Lawrence, citing unfinished business at Clemson, consider putting off the draft for one last bite at the collegiate apple? While the Heisman finalist didn’t overtly address his future Friday, Tiger diehards shouldn’t count on their long-haired savior returning for a senior year in Death Valley.
“I don’t really want to get into all of that tonight,” said Lawrence, who many expect will be the Jaguars’ selection at No. 1 come April 29th at about 8 PM ET. “I’m sure there will be some information that will come out here soon. I just want to sit back for a minute and take everything in.”