Trevor Lawrence, Favorite for No. 1 NFL Draft Pick, Pleads to Save College Football Season

Posted on: August 10, 2020, 07:09h. 

Last updated on: August 10, 2020, 01:32h.

As the college football season was put on life support Sunday, the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft urged university leaders to let teams play.

Clemson's Trevor Lawrence NFL Draft
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is one of the top players in the nation and the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. (Image: Sabrina Schaeffer/USA Today)

Just days after the powerful SEC and Big Ten conferences announced their full schedules for the 2020 season, momentum quickly swung over the weekend to cancel the entire fall sports season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s gotten to a critical stage,” one conference commissioner told Sports Illustrated after a conference call between the heads of the Power 5 conferences. “I think all of us will be meeting with our boards in the coming days. We have work to do that is no fun.”

In a sport dominated by blue blood programs and cash cow conferences, any obituary would start with Northern Illinois, a program with only one Top 25 finish on its resume. Triggered by NIU’s decision not to play this season, the rest of the Mid-American Conference followed suit. That precedent got the ball rolling for the potential canceling of the entire fall sports season, and the possible move of college football to the spring.

“In the next 72 hours, college football is going to come to a complete stop,” one industry source told Sports Illustrated.

Top Prospect Wants to Play

While some players had opted out, others clung to hope that the season could be saved. One, notably, was Trevor Lawrence, the star quarterback of Clemson and top NFL Draft prospect.

In a Twitter thread, he continued: “People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.

“… Having a season also incentivizes players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line,” Lawrence added.

Pick of the Litter

Lawrence’s strong stance on playing despite the overwhelming challenges of keeping players safe — both on the football field and while with the general student body — is notable because he’s the overwhelming favorite to be the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lawrence, as the top player in college football, has more to lose than gain personally from playing this season.

According to Draft Kings, Lawrence is -305 to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. He is followed by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at +300 and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell at +400. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King is a distant fourth at +1,600. Last week, Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season. If he enters the 2021 draft, he likely will be one of the top picks.

Clemson was the early favorite to win the 2021 national championship.