Trevor Lawrence: 'I Don't Really Care' If People Have an Issue with How I Live

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warms up before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Ohio State Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Clemson star Trevor Lawrence is ignoring the critics who targeted comments he made to Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg ahead of the 2021 NFL draft.

"It's just kind of the way things are now," Lawrence told Sean Gregory of Time in a story published Wednesday. "It's just what can people find to get mad about, to criticize? If people still want to have an opinion on the way I think and the way I live, I don't really care."

The Tigers quarterback had explained to Rosenberg how he doesn't "have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone's out to get me and I'm trying to prove everybody wrong." He added how he believed that mentality was "unhealthy to a certain extent."

Lawrence later clarified his opinion on Twitter:

Trevor Lawrence @Trevorlawrencee

It seems as if people are misreading my sentiment. I am internally motivated - I love football as much or more than anyone. It is a HUGE priority in my life, obviously. I am driven to be the best I can be, and to maximize my potential. And to WIN. (1/3)

Trevor Lawrence @Trevorlawrencee

Everything that comes with it. The work, the team, the ups and downs. I am a firm believer in the fact that there is a plan for my life and I’m called to be the best I can be at whatever I am doing. Thanks for coming to my TedTalk lol. 🙌🏼

That the 21-year-old felt the need to follow up at all speaks to how elite athletes are often required to be singularly focused on their craft, whether that's how they operate behind the scenes or not.

Michael Jordan is the epitome of this ideal, which was only enforced when The Last Dance documentary series aired last year. Time and again the NBA legend described how he was motivated by slight after slight—whether genuine or perceived—in his quest for basketball immortality.

When Andrew Luck abruptly retired in August 2019, The Athletic's Stephen Holder wrote:

"There always was a question, rarely uttered, about where football ranked in his life and whether that would ever influence decisions about his career, which included totals of 25,925 passing yards and 183 touchdown passes."

It's not hard to connect the dots between that sentiment and the discourse surrounding Lawrence.

His career should erase any doubt about how much he loves the game.

The Cartersville, Georgia, native was the No. 1 high school player in the country in 2018, per 247Sports' composite rankings, who had starting turning heads on the gridiron as early as middle school. He helped Clemson win a national championship as a true freshman and was the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2020.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. graded Lawrence as the fourth-best college quarterback since 1979, putting him behind only John Elway, Luck and Peyton Manning.

If Lawrence's general mindset has gotten him to this point, why would he bother operating any other way?