Lawrence and seniors preparing for emotional Senior Day

by - Senior Writer -
Darien Rencher (left) and Trevor Lawrence are both eligible to return next season.
Darien Rencher (left) and Trevor Lawrence are both eligible to return next season.

Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day mean something to Clemson fans, players, and coaches, and a special group of seniors will stand atop the hill for the last time as a player Saturday. That includes quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was first up for Tuesday player interviews.

Clemson hosts Pitt Saturday at 3:30 pm Saturday (ESPN) in what will be Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day. The Tigers are currently 24-point favorites over the 5-4 Panthers. However, Pitt has won two in a row after a four-game losing streak.

Trevor Lawrence

*Says it is hard to speculate on how he will feel when he gets to the top of the hill Saturday. There will be a lot of emotions. A lot of hard work and commitment and it will all come to fruition. He does know he will take the time to enjoy it but will shift his focus before the game. Says he will enjoy it in the moment for sure.

*Lawrence says he hasn’t played in a month and that is the most disappointing thing about the FSU game. He said it was frustrating because he wanted to be on the field.

*Lawrence says he started playing when he was six, wanted to play when he was five but had to play soccer for a year. He has played every year since then and has played quarterback since then except for when he played offensive line at age six against eight-year-olds.

*Asked if he has a favorite moment in Death Valley, he takes a moment to ponder, then says the Syracuse game his freshman year. He went out with an injury in the second quarter and watched his good friend Chase Brice play well and come in and win the game made the team stronger. He said that was a really special moment in that season.

*Lawrence says there is a lot of backlash on social media about the FSU debacle. He says he loves that Swinney takes up for the players. He says you can’t always have a poker face. He knows the work the players and coaches have put in and a lot of that has a part of it. He says the players have Swinney’s back and they are all united in what happened.

*Lawrence knows Pitt has a great defensive line and they will be a great challenge but he has confidence in his guys. He says the game plan will be what it would have been had he played the last few weeks. This is the longest layoff he has had in a season.

*On nine men in the box, he says you have to figure out what you want to sell out to. He said you have to figure out if you want to stop the run or the pass, and the chance of error is higher in the passing game than the running game because Etienne can go the distance every play. The passing game is harder to capitalize on.

*He says that backup QB DJ Uiagalelei sees the game differently than he does, and they learn from each other. Says that DJ is a student of the game.

Darien Rencher

*He says there are guys who want to move on, but there are guys who want to come back. He says he will publish a decision soon, but it sounds like he wants to come back. He says there are so many opportunities for the guys who want to come back, especially with NIL (eligibility to make money off of name, image and likeness) that the NCAA is allowing. The new rule about seniors not counting against the 85 scholarship players only applies to scholarship guys and he is a scholarship guy.

*Rencher is asked about his favorite memory of Lawrence in Death Valley, and he said he thinks it is the South Carolina game in 2018. Said he looked at the South Carolina fans after throwing a touchdown. He also says they knew during the spring of 2018 that Lawrence was special. Everyone loved Kelly Bryant – it’s easy to love Kelly Bryant – but Lawrence was special right off the bat.

*Rencher says he had a mild case of COVID, was tired, and had a fever, but other guys on the team have had it worse. His mom is a nurse and she tells him stories and there is no way he would ever belittle it. He said they try their best to not be susceptible to it. He was home for 10 days.

Amari Rodgers

*He says he will be emotional at the top of the hill. He is hopeful his dad will be able to come to the game. His father (Tee Martin) is a coach at Tennessee and their game has been canceled this week.

*Minus the COVID stuff, he feels like he has shown out this year. He can run the route tree, make catches, yards after the catch. He feels like he has a great connection with Trevor Lawrence. He tells him that if he throws the ball his way he will make the catch.

*He says he has been bored. He is ready to play a game. It hasn’t been hard to move on. They are ready for Pitt and preparing for Pitt. They want to get out there and compete.

*He is aware he has a lot of big numbers and records within reach but says he isn’t worried about the numbers. He just wants to go out and ball out.

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