Trevor Lawrence is the best player in college football. Period. And he should be the winner of the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in the sport.
We’re talking about a guy that plays the most important position on the field that most have had locked into being the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft even before he’d taken his first collegiate snap. He’s just that good.
That isn’t to discount how good Kyle Trask or Mac Jones have been or to take away from the kind of season that DeVonta Smith had. Those guys were all outstanding in their own right this season. However, we are talking about who is the most deserving of the Heisman Trophy.
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
Outstanding: Want evidence of how outstanding Lawrence is? Just watch the Tigers two games against Notre Dame this season. Those two games alone highlight just how valuable he is and what kind of impact his presence on the field has on the Clemson offense.
Pursuit of Excellence With Integrity: This is a part of the process that seems to get lost in the shuffle here recently. A players numbers are without question supposed to be a major factor, but those numbers aren’t supposed to be the only factor. Lawrence’s character is impeccable. He’s a real as they come. What you see, is what you get. He’s as genuine a person as you will meet.
Great Ability: Lawrence can do it all. There isn’t a throw he can’t make and far more often than not he makes those throws with the kind of laser-like precision most quarterbacks only dream of having. He has the kind of ability that is going to make him the first pick in the next NFL Draft. Not many players can say that, and no other player in college football currently would be selected ahead of him, regardless of class.
Diligence: No one works harder than Lawrence. He is a student of the game who goes out every day with the goal of being better than he was the day before.
Perseverance: Lawrence was not just one of the faces of the #WeWantToPlay movement, he was a major catalyst in leading that charge. When it looked like there would be no season, he did everything in his power to ensure there indeed was one. He routinely talked about how players were safer playing than they would be not playing. If that wasn’t enough, he would end up testing positive for the virus, causing him to miss two games and go five weeks without playing. He missed the Tigers biggest game of the regular season in South Bend. A game the Tigers lost. Five weeks later he came back and lit up the Pitt Panthers. He looked like he hadn’t missed a game, much less five weeks. Last weekend he went out and shredded a pretty stout Notre Dame defense, avenging the Tigers earlier loss and helping lead Clemson to its sixth consecutive ACC Championship. Lawrence is the epitome of perseverance.
Hard Work: For three years Lawrence’s teammates have raved about how much works he puts in. He might make it look easy sometimes, but there isn’t a player that puts in more work.
Yes, he’s only played in nine games. But in those nine games he has thrown for 2,753 yards. That’s more than 300 yards per game. He’s hit on over 69% of his passes and thrown 22 touchdowns to just four interceptions. His downfield accuracy, along with the touch he puts on the deep ball never stops being impressive.
He also has 317 yards on the ground and seven rushing touchdowns. With the Tigers struggling to run the ball at times this season, when the team needed to make a play in the running game, many times it was Lawrence’s number that was called and far more often than not, he delivered.
The fact that he has played in just nine games is moot. We just saw an Ohio State team get into the playoff having played just six games. If the Buckeyes can get into the playoff having played far fewer games due to the fact that this is an usual season, then by the same logic Trevor Lawrence should be the Heisman winner. There’s not a better choice. It really is just that simple.