Lawrence said to reporters earlier this week that he is open to returning to Clemson for his senior season despite being the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”
During an appearance on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio with Mark Packer, Swinney was asked whether there was anything to read into those comments from Lawrence.
“I didn’t read anything into it. Don’t really care,” Swinney said. “He’s going to do whatever he needs to do. I’m going to save a scholarship for him just in case. I’m not real worried about it. He ain’t worried about it, either. He’s got one thing on his mind and that’s leading the Tigers and having a great season this year.
“We’ll certainly let him stay if that’s what he wants to do. But I’d be surprised if he’s back with the Tigers next year, but who knows? You never know. I didn’t think Christian Wilkins was coming back, but he did.”
Lawrence is arguably the most highly-touted quarterback since Andrew Luck, and Jets fans are already talking about the possibility of the Clemson star joining their team.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum also chimed into the conversation.
“From the old Parcells is he built to last standard? I think this guy has a much better chance of having a sustainable career than the last three number one picks, for a number of reasons,” Tannenbaum said. “Especially when you look at [Baker] Mayfield and [Kyler] Murray. This guy is born to play the position. He looks the part from a physical standpoint. I think he can withstand the rigors of the NFL season right now.”
Over the last several seasons, Clemson has seen projected first-rounders come back for their senior seasons, such as Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell in 2018 and running back Travis Etienne this season. Lawrence making that same choice, however, would be a surprise for the program, as Swinney noted.
Lawrence has already tallied 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns in just six games this season. He’s 31-1 as a starter and frontrunner for the 2020 Heisman Trophy.
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