Of the four teams in this years College Football Playoff, three had their starting quarterbacks named Heisman finalists. Justin Fields, Jalen Hurts, and eventual Heisman winner Joe Burrow were all in New York, while Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence’s only avenue of watching the ceremony was the television broadcast, had he chosen to watch.
Make no mistake, Joe Burrow earned the Heisman this season. His play was superb throughout, as LSU won the SEC and finished as one of just three unbeaten P5 teams. Week after week, he torched one defense after another. He absolutely deserved to win the sports most prestigious award this season.
Fields and Hurts have both been outstanding in 2019 as well, and both were deserving of being named finalists. That brings us to Lawrence. He was just as deserving as either of those guys, weak schedule or not.
While the sophomore QB for the Tigers might not have had a season worthy of winning the award over Burrow, he definitely had a season worthy of an invite. Sure, he had a hiccup or two early on as far as the interceptions, but over the second half of the season, his play was as good as anyone’s. Maybe even better.
(Since October 1st)
- 81% adjusted completion %
- 8.7 TD/INT ratio
- 198.6 passer efficiency ratingrating
- 94.4 Total QBR
- 79% adjusted completion %
- 7.8 TD/INT ratio
- 192 passer efficiency rating
- 93.8 Total QBR
The biggest knock on Lawrence all year has been the picks. He’s thrown just eight all season, and none since the first quarter against Louisville on October 19. Burrow has thrown six. Pretending there’s some huge gap between those two numbers is kind of comical.
Trevor Lawrence deserved to be on that stage in New York City. He deserved to have what he’s done this season recognized by being selected a finalist. I know it, you know it, and most importantly he knows it.
Speaking to the media after the team arrived out in Arizona, Lawrence had this to say on the subject.
“I believe I’m one of the best players in college football. My play will speak for itself.”
It’s not hard to read between the lines and fine the hidden context in that quote.
Trevor Lawrence has nothing that he needs to prove. He’s yet to lose a game as a starting QB in college. He abused the “best Alabama team of all time” in last year’s national title game, lighting their defense up like a cheap Christmas tree, as he guided Clemson to a national title as a true freshman. He’d be the number one pick of the NFL Draft in April if he were eligible, and would have been last April too. Barring something crazy, he will no doubt go number one overall in 2021.
Again, Lawrence has nothing he needs to prove. However, that doesn’t mean being snubbed hasn’t put a little chip on his shoulder. He’s a competitor. It’s ingrained in him. Winning is part of what drives him, and that drive is part of what’s made him the nation’s best QB.
He’s always shown to be a guy that is mature beyond his years, and has always handled things with grace, both the good and bad. It’s always gone without saying that he’s going to let his play on the field do all of his talking.
Now he’s actually come out and subtly reminded everyone of that fact. It seems the young signal caller wants to make a point against Ohio State. He doesn’t need to say anything, he’s planning to show the nation that he was in fact snubbed.
If that doesn’t give the doubters at least a little pause, nothing will. It’s hard to imagine Lawrence being any better than he has been down the stretch. Thinking he might elevate his game up another notch has to be making sleep tough to come by for the Buckeyes coaching staff.