Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence spoke with the media on Monday for the first time since being named the Tigers’ starting quarterback exactly two weeks earlier.
Lawrence described the past two weeks as “crazy” and detailed the mixed emotions he felt from earning Clemson’s starting quarterback job but also having friend and teammate Kelly Bryant transfer following the news.
“Obviously I was excited. That’s something that I’ve been working for, but it was tough too,” Lawrence said. “Me and Kelly have a good relationship. We still do. It’s not going to change it. But definitely miss him being a part of the team and going to miss him a lot.”
Lawrence received a text message from the coaching staff on Sunday, Sept. 23 following the game against Georgia Tech asking him to come in for a meeting Monday morning. Lawrence that morning was told that he had earned the starting job for the upcoming game against Syracuse.
Bryant announced he was transferring two days later.
“It was tough. At the end of the day, that’s how things unfolded and we’ve got to move on and we’ve got to regroup as a team and get ready for the rest of the season,” Lawrence said. “But it’s definitely a tough feeling ... on one hand excited to get that spot, but on the other hand, having a good relationship with the guy and him leaving was definitely tough. Definitely still wish he was here, but like I said, we’ve just got to move on and look ahead.”
The first start of Lawrence’s career did not go as planned as he left the game in the first half against Syracuse after taking a hard hit to the upper body. Lawrence suffered a neck strain and was placed in concussion protocol and did not return to the game.
But he bounced back quickly and was back on the field this past weekend against Wake Forest, going 20-for-25 for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
Lawrence feels like he is getting better each week.
“I would say just leadership with the guys. Knowing my role and growing in my role and just being a better leader,” he said of how he has improved.
As far as being the guy at quarterback instead of splitting reps, Lawrence said not much has changed.
“I still feel like I still need to perform well even though I am the guy and I am the starter. I still need to do well. Chase (Brice) is right behind me. He’s a really good quarterback,” Lawrence said, adding that he was comfortable with a two-QB system with Bryant as well. “I think we did a good job of rotating us. Even when that was the case we were doing well, so either way. It does change a little bit just me being in the whole time now.”