The Clemson Tigers enjoyed an excellent 2019 season despite a disappointing 42-25 loss to LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday.
"It’s hard to find the words to sum up this year, but I’ll keep it short. I’m thankful for everyone and everything that has happened this season. It’s been challenging, unique, and a whole lotta fun. I’m so appreciative to this senior class and the 2 years I got to spend with them.
"I’m grateful to get to call my teammates family, because they really are. Adversity teaches and shows you who you really are. I thank God for teaching me more now than ever before. I’m also learning that life is mostly about how you respond, not what happens. So here’s to a heck of a year and lots of great memories. Clemson family, we love you. We will be back."
Lawrence, a sophomore, had not lost on the collegiate level until Monday. He guided the Tigers to a 15-0 record and national title last year before leading Clemson to a 14-1 mark this season.
The road to the national title wasn't as easy in 2019 as it was the year before.
Clemson nearly got picked off in an early-season ACC contest against unranked UNC before surviving 21-20.
The Tigers then steamrolled their way through to the College Football Playoff, but they needed to overcome a 16-0 first-half deficit and hold off a late Ohio State drive to defeat the Buckeyes 29-23 in the semifinal.
Clemson had a couple of early-season close calls in 2018 but won all of its last 10 games by 20 or more points. They outscored their CFP opponents (Notre Dame and Alabama) 74-19.
The loss is undoubtedly disappointing for the Tigers, who knew nothing but winning for two years. However, Caesars Palace likes their chances to return to the top of the sport next year, with Clemson's 2-1 odds leading all teams. SEC foes Alabama (4-1), LSU (9-2) round out the top three.