The Heisman Trophy candidate missed the past two games after testing positive for COVID-19 and said Tuesday that he is virus-free.
“I feel justas good as I did when I left a few weeks ago,” Lawrence told reporters.
The junior star was in isolation for Clemson’s victory over Boston College on Oct. 31 and on the sidelines for the double-overtime loss at Notre Dame on Nov. 7. The Tigers had a bye last week and that gave Lawrence time to regain his fitness level.
And now, he can’t wait to step on the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference clash against the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
“This shows it’s a privilege to get to do what we do,” Lawrence said. “Being out here, the days can be long sometimes, sometimes you can lose sight of what you do and why you do it.”
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott can see the excitement oozing out of Lawrence.
“He came back with a ton of energy,” Elliott said. “You could tell that, obviously, he was disappointed he couldn’t be out there for his teammates.”
Florida State coach Mike Norvell would have been just fine with Lawrence needing one more game to recover. But Norvell is certainly impressed with the skills Lawrence possesses.
“He is a special talent, you could say once in a decade,” Norvell said. “He’s a fun player to watch, not only the physical tools, but the charisma that he brings and the leader that he is.”
Tigers backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei performed well in place of Lawrence by passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns against Boston College and 439 yards and two scores against Notre Dame.
But still, the club badly missed Lawrence, who has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns this season against just two interceptions.
Lawrence also has that gaudy 31-1 career record as a starter that makes the Tigers feel an extra bit of comfort when he’s on the field.
The one thing not playing since Oct. 24 has done is removed Lawrence from the role as Heisman favorite. Now he is one of the contenders instead of the lead dog, but he said he isn’t concerned about it.
“No watch list or award list is going to change how I feel or the confidence I have,” Lawrence said.
And, of course, he is looking forward to competing against the Seminoles on Saturday.
“He’s really locked in to try and get back out, and lead the team and playing his best football,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “So you know what you’re gonna get from (No.) 16, no doubt about that.”
–Field Level Media