Former Clemson wideout Amari Rodgers responds to criticism of Trevor Lawrence

Matt Connolly4 months
Aritcle written by:Matt ConnollyMatt Connolly

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CLEMSON — Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence received some criticism last week for comments he made to Sports Illustrated.

Lawrence was profiled by SI and is quoted as saying football is important to him but is not everything. The title of the piece is “Trevor Lawrence is out to prove absolutely nothing.”

“I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong. … I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to,” Lawrence said.

Some took Lawrence’s comments to mean he isn’t committed to winning, and he received his share of criticism last week, including from ESPN’s Louis Riddick.

“It took me aback a little bit,” Riddick said on ESPN’s Get Up. “Winning at the NFL level is hard. Playing quarterback at the NFL level is hard. … It’s about the details, it’s about the preparation, it’s about the commitment. You better be committed on that level.”

Former Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers, who played with Lawrence for three seasons at Clemson, held a football camp in Greenville over the weekend. ClemsonSports.com asked Rodgers how he interpreted Lawrence’s comments.

“He’s been the No. 1 player his whole life. He’s never really had that chip on his shoulder. He’s always been at the top, so that’s what he expects from himself,” Rodgers said. “He expects to be the best every time he steps on the field. He expects to go out there and compete … and that’s what he’s done ever since high school.”

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Amari Rodgers passes the ball to a kid during his camp Saturday in Greenville. (Matt Connolly/ClemsonSports.com)

Lawrence signed with Clemson as the No. 1 recruit in the country for the class of 2018. He led the Tigers to a national title his freshman season and leaves Clemson as the winningest quarterback in school history. He is expected to be picked No. 1 overall by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft next week.

“He’s always been No. 1, so he doesn’t expect nothing else but to be No. 1 every time he steps on the field. He has that confidence and he believes in himself. So that’s really how I see it. That’s what he’s going to keep proving in the league, so I’m excited for it,” Rodgers said.

He added that he expects Lawrence to do just fine in the NFL.

“Just like high school to college, I feel like he’s just going to go and do what he does. He doesn’t have any pressure. So he’s going to go out there and be Trevor and that’s good enough to be successful,” Rodgers said. “Obviously he’s won a state championship. He’s won a national championship. So if he’ll just be Trevor … That’s all coach Swinney used to tell him, just be yourself and everything will come your way.”