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The legend is building for Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

Still just 19 years old, Trevor Lawrence isn't eligible for the NFL draft until 2021. But right now, he migh...

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 4:24 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 4:24 PM

Still just 19 years old, Trevor Lawrence isn't eligible for the NFL draft until 2021. But right now, he might be the best college football quarterback since Peyton Manning, who happens to be Lawrence's idol.

On Monday night, Lawrence accomplished something Manning never did. He won the national title, blowing out Alabama 44-16 at the College Football Playoff national championship game in Santa Clara, California.

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With the win Monday, Clemson became the first major college football team in the modern era to go 15-0. No major college football team had done that since the 19th century, when the University of Pennsylvania Quakers posted a 15-0 mark in 1897.

Named the offensive MVP, Lawrence completed 20 of 32 passing attempts for 347 yards and three touchdowns.

Seeing it all play out on the sideline was Clemson legend Deshaun Watson. Now the Houston Texans starting quarterback, Watson had led Clemson to the national championship in 2016.

"He's gonna be a legend," Watson said of Lawrence, according to ESPN. "He already is. People know that now."

Lawrence is the second true freshman -- playing in his first year immediately out of high school -- to win a national championship as a starting quarterback, joining Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway (1985).

"That doesn't mean as much as being able to be a part of this team," Lawrence said. "Really it's true, even if we didn't go all this way and win a national championship, this has been a team that I'll never forget for one, and it's just been amazing, the focus and how driven this team is has been unbelievable.

"Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me ... they're awesome people as well as players."

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College football fans have at least two more years of Lawrence, and it's two years for NFL scouts, teams and fans to swoon over him.

"Trevor has always been a special talent in my mind, and it doesn't surprise me," Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has been watching Lawrence play since his sophomore year of high school, said. "He's got the right stuff as a person, and he's played phenomenally well for his team this year."

Said CNN's Coy Wire: "I think Trevor Lawrence could play in the NFL right now."

Lawrence was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1999, just a couple of years after Manning played college football there for the Tennessee Volunteers from 1994-1997.

His parents were Tennessee fans, which rubbed off on Lawrence. He wears the jersey No. 16, which is a nod to Manning, who wore the number in college.

Lawrence started playing football when he was six years old, and the buzz about his potential started in middle school.

By the time he was in high school in Cartersville, Georgia, Lawrence already looked like he would one day be playing on Sundays. After his freshman season, the recruiting frenzy by college coaches was in full swing. He committed to Clemson and graduated from high school early, enrolling at the university in January 2018.

He started this season as Clemson's backup, behind incumbent starter Kelly Bryant. However, head coach Dabo Swinney couldn't keep Lawrence on the sideline any longer, making him the starter in the team's fifth game of the season, against Syracuse. Bryant has since left the team, announcing last month he was transferring to Missouri.

"Well, I mean, (Lawrence) was the best player, and that's not a knock to dis Kelly Bryant -- and I love Kelly Bryant, what a great player he is," Swinney said.

"But my job is to make decisions that put the team in the best possible path to win, and after four games he was the best player."

A year ago, Lawrence was watching the national championship game and dreamed of playing in it. On Monday, the experience more than lived up to his expectations.

"I mean, it was just surreal," he said. "So yeah, it was even better. It's always great just to get another game with this group of guys. Like I said, just been an amazing year."

The Trevor Lawrence hype is real, and the legend is sure to grow from here.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32888

Reported Deaths: 1188
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds264246
DeSoto176718
Madison135536
Jones115949
Neshoba101673
Harrison100312
Rankin99915
Lauderdale93781
Forrest92743
Scott78515
Jackson70417
Copiah62715
Washington62610
Leake59820
Lee57521
Holmes57041
Oktibbeha55728
Wayne55116
Warren54020
Yazoo5336
Grenada5227
Lowndes51513
Leflore50756
Lamar5007
Lincoln49234
Pike46617
Sunflower4368
Monroe43135
Lafayette4194
Covington3965
Panola3926
Bolivar37018
Attala36523
Simpson3603
Newton35210
Adams33218
Tate31912
Pontotoc3166
Marion30812
Chickasaw29119
Claiborne28910
Winston28210
Noxubee2738
Pearl River26932
Jasper2666
Marshall2643
Clay25111
Smith23412
Union23311
Coahoma2136
Clarke21125
Walthall2087
Lawrence1892
Yalobusha1838
Kemper17914
Carroll17111
Humphreys1569
Tallahatchie1564
Montgomery1432
Calhoun1425
Tippah14211
Itawamba1408
Hancock13413
Webster12811
Tunica1153
Jefferson1143
Jefferson Davis1144
Prentiss1113
Greene1089
Amite1043
George943
Wilkinson949
Tishomingo911
Quitman891
Alcorn762
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone722
Franklin472
Benton420
Sharkey400
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48588

Reported Deaths: 1042
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5687161
Mobile4315136
Montgomery4275109
Tuscaloosa238248
Marshall181511
Madison16208
Lee146337
Shelby141424
Morgan11575
Baldwin10399
Walker101825
Elmore97519
Dallas9189
Franklin90616
Etowah83413
DeKalb7905
Chambers64727
Autauga64312
Butler63728
Tallapoosa60669
Russell5890
Unassigned53826
Houston5366
Limestone5251
Lauderdale5146
Cullman4905
Lowndes47922
Pike4525
Colbert4426
St. Clair4402
Escambia4358
Calhoun4035
Coffee3923
Covington38110
Bullock36910
Barbour3622
Jackson3432
Talladega3337
Dale3261
Marengo32011
Hale31722
Wilcox2958
Clarke2876
Sumter28512
Winston2773
Chilton2762
Blount2581
Monroe2442
Pickens2446
Marion24114
Randolph2289
Conecuh2187
Macon2029
Choctaw19912
Bibb1981
Greene1888
Perry1791
Henry1403
Crenshaw1253
Washington1217
Lawrence1130
Cherokee1117
Geneva860
Lamar801
Fayette721
Clay692
Coosa601
Cleburne391
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