CLEMSON, S.C. — Quarterback Trevor Lawrence made history on Thursday evening, becoming the first player in Clemson history to be selected with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence celebrated his selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars at a small gathering at his Upstate South Carolina residence.
Lawrence now moves to the professional level after a decorated college career in which he became the winningest quarterback in Clemson history (34-2 as a starter) while also earning his degree in only three years.
“The Jaguars are getting a winner, capital W-I-N-N-E-R, WINNER,” Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “They’re getting a great human being, great leader and a highly skilled football player.”
With Lawrence’s selection, Clemson became only the 51st program ever to produce a No. 1 pick since the inception of the NFL Draft in 1936. Clemson became the seventh current ACC program to produce a No. 1 overall pick, joining Florida State, Miami (Fla.), NC State, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. However, Clemson is the third program ever to produce a No. 1 pick as a member of the ACC, as Miami, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech’s No. 1 picks predated their tenure in the conference.
Lawrence’s selection at No. 1 surpassed Banks McFadden (No. 4 in 1939), Gaines Adams (No. 4 in 2007), Sammy Watkins (No 4 in 2014) and Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 in 2019) to make him the highest NFL Draft selection from Clemson all-time. He became the third No. 1 overall pick across all sports in Clemson Athletics history, joining baseball’s Kris Benson (1996) and men’s soccer’s Robbie Robinson (2020).
From 2018-20, Lawrence completed 758-of-1138 career passes (66.6 percent) for 10,098 yards with 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a pass efficiency rating for 164.26 in 40 career games (36 starts). He also rushed 231 times for 943 career rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He exited with Clemson career records in career winning percentage (.944), pass efficiency rating (164.3), yards per passing attempt (8.87) and tying for the most wins against Top 25 opponents (nine) while also finishing in the Top 5 in school history in career completion percentage (66.6, second), passing touchdowns (90, tied for second), interception percentage (1.49, second), passing yards (10,098, third), total offense yards (11,041, third), touchdown responsibility (108, third) and completions (758, fourth).
Lawrence helped guide Clemson to the program’s third national title in 2018, starting the final 11 games of major college football’s first 15-0 campaign since 1897. This past season, he finished second in Heisman Trophy voting and won the Bobby Bowden Trophy and ACC Player of the Year amid a plethora of conference and national awards.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney:
“The Jaguars are getting a winner, capital W-I-N-N-E-R, WINNER. They’re getting a great human being, great leader and a highly skilled football player. He is a mentally and physically tough football player. He’s fast, he’s big, he’s strong, and he is an incredibly equipped and skilled quarterback. He just really has great command of the position, an understanding of football, aptitude for football, understanding of defense. Really, there is not anything you could ever want in a quarterback that he doesn’t possess. But the No. 1 thing that they’re getting is a great man of faith, great character and the ultimate winner. If you go all the way back to middle school, he has not lost many games. And I think he is going to be a guy that impacts the community, will impact the coaching staff, will impact free agency, and really do it in an incredibly humble way. Great spirit, a guy that has got his feet on the ground and really ‘gets it’ in every aspect of what his responsibility and what his role will be, not only in the organization but within the community and the NFL.”
Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Brandon Streeter:
“I can’t say enough good things about Trevor Lawrence and what he’s about not only on the field but especially off the field. Obviously, his talent that we all see is ridiculous, but in all areas he has performed so well. I’m just excited about his opportunity to move on to the next level. I think his locker room presence, him being an unbelievable teammate and just his character in general are off the charts. His perspective on life is exactly what you want. I’m so proud of him and excited for this opportunity in his life.”
CLEMSON DRAFT NOTES
Became only the 51st program ever to produce a No. 1 overall pick since inception of the draft in 1936.
Became the seventh current ACC program to produce a No. 1 overall pick, joining Florida State, Miami (Fla.), NC State, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. However, Clemson became the third program ever to produce a No. 1 pick while a member of the ACC, as Miami, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech’s No. 1 picks predated their tenure in the ACC.
Has now produced a first-round pick in eight of the last nine drafts, dating to the 2013 NFL Draft. The only draft in that span in which Clemson did not have at least one first-round pick was 2018. Clemson, Alabama and Florida are the only programs to have produced a first-round pick in at least eight of the last nine drafts.
Has now produced a Top 10 pick in three consecutive drafts for the first time in program history. Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, only Clemson, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State had produced a Top 10 selection in each of the previous two drafts.
Extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 19 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.
Became the 65th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
Represents Clemson’s 35th first-round pick in the NFL Draft all-time, dating back to Banks McFadden’s selection by the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers with the fourth overall pick in the 1940 NFL Draft.
Surpassed Banks McFadden (No. 4 in 1939), Gaines Adams (No. 4 in 2007), Sammy Watkins (No 4 in 2014) and Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 in 2019) as highest NFL Draft selection from Clemson all-time.
Became the third No. 1 overall pick in Clemson Athletics history, joining baseball’s Kris Benson (1996) and men’s soccer’s Robbie Robinson (2020).
Became the sixth top-five pick in Clemson Football history and the 14th top-five pick in Clemson Athletics history. Including top-five selections Philip Mayaka and Kimarni Smith in the MLS SuperDraft earlier this year, 2021 now marks the fourth year in school history in which Clemson has had multiple top-five picks across all sports, joining 1996 (baseball’s Kris Benson and Billy Koch), 2007 (football’s Gaines Adams and baseball’s Daniel Moskos) and 2019 (football’s Clelin Ferrell and women’s soccer’s Sam Staab). This year marks Clemson Athletics’ first year with three top-five picks across all sports.
Joined Florida State’s Jameis Winston (2015), NC State’s Mario Williams (2006), Virginia Tech’s Michael Vick (1999) and Bruce Smith (1985), Miami’s Russell Maryland (1991) and Vinny Testaverde (1987), Syracuse’s Ernie Davis (1962) and Virginia’s Bill Dudley (1942) as the only No. 1 overall picks from current ACC programs. Of those previous selections, only Winston and Williams competed as members of the ACC.
Became the second Clemson player drafted by the Jaguars since the franchise’s debut in 1995. He joins defensive end Andre Branch, whom the Jaguars selected in the second round (No. 38 overall) in 2012.
Became Clemson’s 13th Top 10 pick all-time and, including the No. 4 overall pick of Clelin Ferrell in 2019 and the No. 8 overall pick of Isaiah Simmons in 2020, gave Clemson three consecutive drafts with a Top 10 selection for the first time in Clemson history. Prior to the current run, Clemson had previously twice had Top 10 picks in back-to-back drafts, including 1982-83 with Jeff Bryant and Terry Kinard and 2014-15 with Sammy Watkins and Vic Beasley.
Joined Steve Fuller (1979), Charlie Whitehurst (2006), Tajh Boyd (2013) and Deshaun Watson (2017) as the fifth Clemson quarterback drafted in the Common Draft era. Lawrence (34 wins), Watson (32), Boyd (32) and Whitehurst (25) account for four of the five winningest starting quarterbacks in Clemson history. Lawrence joined Watson and Fuller as Clemson’s third first-round quarterback in the Common Draft era.
Became the first Clemson player to be the first player selected on either side of the ball in a draft since 2007, when Gaines Adams was the first defensive player selected when he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 4 overall.
Snapped a three-draft streak in which a defensive player was the first Clemson player selected (LB Dorian O’Daniel in 2018, DE Clelin Ferrell in 2019, LB Isaiah Simmons in 2020). Prior to Lawrence, the last offensive player to be the first Clemson player selected in a draft was wide receiver Mike Williams (No. 7 overall in 2017).
Gave the NFL have back-to-back No. 1 overall picks with a national championship to their credit for the first time since the 1991 NFL Draft (Miami DT Russell Maryland) and 1992 NFL Draft (Washington DE Steve Emtman). Lawrence won a national championship during the 2018 season, and last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow, won a national championship during the 2019 season.