The Clemson Tigers are back in the College Football Playoff championship this year after torching third-ranked Notre Dame 30-3 in the semifinals on Saturday. In that game, Clemson’s superstar freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence showed once again why he is considered the nation’s biggest up-and-coming star, going 27 for 39 for 327 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Though he’s the consummate football player, Lawrence stressed in a post-game interview Saturday that football doesn’t consume him — or as he put it, it doesn’t “define” him. His faith does.
“Football is important to me, obviously, but it’s not my life. It’s not the biggest thing in my life, I would say. My faith is,” Lawrence said in explanation of how he’s able to handle high-pressure situations.
“So that just comes from knowing who I am outside of that. So I just know, no matter how big the situation is, it’s not really going to define me,” he added.
For his identity, he explained, he looks to Christ. “Just putting my identity in what Christ says and who He thinks I am and who I know that He says I am,” he said. “So really, like I said, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what people think about me or how good they think I play, or whatever. It doesn’t really matter. So that’s definitely been a big thing for me in my situation — just knowing that and having confidence in that.”
Below are excerpts from his post-game interview in which he explains how his faith centers his worldview (h/t FaithWire):
Despite being a true freshman, the 6’5″ 205-lb Lawrence took over as the starting quarterback for top two-ranked Clemson in the fifth game of the 2018 season, helping to lead them to a 12-0 regular season, another ACC championship (against an overmatched Pittsburgh, whom they defeated easily, 42-10) and the big win against Notre Dame in the CFP semifinal.
While Clemson started off the season with returning quarterback Kelly Bryant under center, after Lawrence’s strong performance against Georgia Tech, he was officially named starter. Bryant, who had led Clemson to the CFP last year, quickly announced that he was transferring. Below is the ACC’s report on the announced change that highlights Lawrence’s “it” factor:
For the season, Lawrence has thrown for 2,933 yards, even while splitting reps with Bryant for the first four games. His overall completion percentage is 65% (239-365), and he threw for 27 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.
Along with his solid grasp of the game, Lawrence is a true athlete with unmatched arm-strength. In fact, he already throws harder than some of the NFL’s best QBs: 61.4 MPH, which is over 4 MPH better than the Chief’s Patrick Mahomes (55 MPH), the Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston (55 MPH), the Eagles’ Carson Wentz (57 MPH), and the Rams’ Jared Goff (57 MPH).
Here are some highlights from Lawrence’s season-best performance against Clemson’s big in-state rival, South Carolina, in which he threw for 393 yards: