Clemson University

‘He takes no crap.’ Trevor Lawrence didn’t back down against Texas A&M

What Tony Elliott said after Clemson win over Texas A&M

Clemson football co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott speaks Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, after the Tigers' win over Texas A&M.
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Clemson football co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott speaks Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, after the Tigers' win over Texas A&M.

When Trevor Lawrence was pulled down from behind by Justin Madubuike during the second quarter of Clemson’s 24-10 victory over Texas A&M Saturday afternoon, the Tigers quarterback made sure the Aggies defensive lineman understood that he didn’t appreciate the hit.

Lawrence was rolling to his right and threw the ball away just before Madubuike grabbed a hold of him. And when Madubuike got his hands on Lawrence, he didn’t let go until he horse collar tackled the Heisman candidate to the ground.

Lawrence got up and had a few words for Madubuike before preparing for the next play.

“I was just yelling at him because he horse-collared me pretty bad,” Lawrence explained after the game.

Lawrence motioned for the crowd to cheer louder after the 15-yard penalty was assessed, and he went on to lead Clemson to a touchdown on the drive, capping the series with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers ahead 17-3 heading into halftime.

Tigers safety Tanner Muse didn’t see the play because he was on the sideline preparing for Clemson’s next defensive series. But he wasn’t surprised to learn that Clemson’s star quarterback stood up for himself.

“I made a pick against him in fall camp,” Muse said. “I threw the ball at him and he was chasing me around the field he was so mad. He definitely has the edge. He takes no crap. He’s not gonna let anybody walk over him.”

The sophomore Lawrence is as cool and calm in the pocket as they come, never seeming rattled no matter the circumstances.

He led the Tigers to a national title as a freshman in 2018, passing for 347 yards and three touchdowns against the Crimson Tide.

But while Lawrence excels at keeping his emotions in check when he needs to, he’s also not afraid to show a little fire.

“Trevor’s a competitor,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “Those are some physical guys over there. I know he got hit a couple of times. But he’s a competitor. He’s a physical guy. It was good to see him get out of the pocket and run a little bit.”

Lawrence has outstanding arm strength and a great football IQ. And he also has an incredible will to win.

His competitive fire comes out often when he’s on the field, whether it’s during fall camp when he’s facing off against Clemson’s defense or during a Week 2 matchup against No. 12 Texas A&M.

That competitive fire is just part of what makes Lawrence arguably the best quarterback in the country.

“He’s the ultimate competitor,” co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “Now he understands that he’s the quarterback. He’s the leader of the offense, leader of the team, so he has to maintain a certain level of poise. But there’s nothing wrong with showing a little bit of emotion… He gets passionate, and he understands that if he shows that fire and that emotion it can ignite the guys around him to elevate their level of play.”