Plenty of potential first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft are opting out of playing college football this season, but the sport's top two quarterbacks aren't going anywhere. Clemson signal-caller Trevor Lawrence affirmed Friday that he is committed to playing for the Tigers as a junior in 2020, joining Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields among the notable stars still planning to play this season.
"I think everyone thought about it with everything going on, but since I made the decision to play, I haven't thought about it again," Lawrence told reporters, according to Clemson247. "I'm committed. I'm just ready to have a great year. Me and Travis [Etienne] are definitely here and committed to playing. I'm just excited to play football."
Clemson experienced one of the most-significant known COVID-19 outbreaks within a college football program during June and July, but no players from the program are known to have opted out of the 2020 season yet.
"We feel safe and feel like good protocol is in place," Lawrence said. "We just had to clear that up. It was in place already, and we just had to find that out. We are risking our health by playing, but we are assuming that risk. We feel like we are in good hands."
Lawrence led Clemson to a national championship during his freshman season in 2018 as he won ACC Rookie of the Year and earned second-team All-ACC honors while throwing for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns. He followed that up by leading the Tigers back to the national championship game after the 2019 season. There, he suffered the first loss of his college career as Clemson fell to LSU. But with Lawerence back at the helm, the Tigers are entering the 2020 season ranked No. 1 in the preseason Coaches Poll.
Several ACC players from other schools have opted out, including a couple of notable stars. Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau opted out this week, joining Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley in the group of potential first-round draft picks who plan to prepare for the draft rather than play under the uncertain conditions brought on by COVID-19.