Trevor Lawrence had an eventful first six weeks of his college football career.
Yes, the Clemson quarterback helped the Tigers get off to a 6-0 start and played well (Lawrence is currently ranked No. 5 in the country in passing efficiency).
But there were also plenty of mental hurdles thrown at Lawrence along the way.
The Georgia native started the season splitting time with starting quarterback Kelly Bryant and was competing with Bryant while also trying to learn from him.
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Lawrence was eventually named the starter, leading to his friend and teammate Bryant transferring. He also had to balance trying to lead the offense while being a true freshman on a team full of veterans, not to mention he suffered a head and shoulder injury in his first game as the starting quarterback.
After a wacky start to his college career, Lawrence was able to catch his breath and regroup during the bye over the weekend.
“You don’t really even realize it yourself until you get a week off and you’re like, ‘Whew. A lot’s happened this past month.’ It was good to be able to relax and have the week off,” Lawrence said.
The 6-foot-6 signal caller returned to his hometown of Cartersville and escaped football for a few days.
Lawrence did watch a few college football highlights over the weekend, but he mostly just visited with friends and family members, in addition to going fishing.
“It was really good just to be able to be like, ‘OK, we’re halfway through the season. This is where we’re at.’ And Kind of unwind a little bit and get ready for the second half,” Lawrence said.
He feels refreshed as Clemson prepares to host No. 16 N.C. State in what will be the final matchup of undefeated teams in college football in the 2018 regular season.
The 5-0 Wolfpack have given Clemson fits the past two years, and Lawrence expects another tight contest on Saturday.
“We’re expecting a four-quarter game and a fight so it’s going to be a fun game,” Lawrence said. “It’s college football. Any week anyone can beat anybody if they’re not ready so we’re just going to try to do our best to make sure we’re ready for them.”
Lawrence appears to be feeling more and more comfortable in his role each week.
He has completed 69 percent of his passes, which is No. 2 in the ACC behind only N.C. State’s Ryan Finley. And he is tied with Finley atop the ACC with an average of 8.7 yards per attempt.
Lawrence is tied for second in the ACC in passing touchdowns with 11, despite splitting time with Bryant through four games and the fact that Clemson has already had its bye.
Lawrence completed 80 percent of his passes for 175 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in Clemson’s Oct. 6 game against Wake Forest, prior to the bye.
He is hoping he can continue to play well this weekend against N.C. State.
“I’m really excited. I feel like this is a big game for us to kind of prove how much we’ve grown throughout the season and just how much better we’ve gotten,” Lawrence said. “Playing a good team I feel like it’s a chance for us to prove ourselves a little bit more.”