1997 all over again? Trevor Lawrence may return to Clemson for 2021

Matt Weyrich
·2 min read

1997 all over again? Trevor Lawrence may return to Clemson for 2021 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The New York Jets may once again be spurned out of the opportunity to select a generational quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is set to be one of the highest-rated quarterbacks to come out of college in recent memory in the 2021 NFL Draft next summer. The Jets are 0-7 and scoring easily the fewest points in the NFL at 12.1 points per game. Lawrence could be the face of a Jets resurgence if they continue to sit at the bottom of the league standings for the rest of the year.

That is if Lawrence decides to declare for the draft.

“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said Tuesday, as quoted by ESPN. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”

Those comments marked the first time that Lawrence indicated he might not leave Clemson after his junior season. It also brings back some serious déjà vu for Jets fans, who missed out on Hall of Famer Peyton Manning in 1997. Manning was originally expected to enter the draft after his junior year at Tennessee but decided to stick around Knoxville for another year after the Jets landed the top pick.

Instead, Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 1 pick in 1998. He went on to lead the Colts to two Super Bowls, winning one of them. The Jets still haven’t been to the Super Bowl since their lone appearance in 1968.

Lawrence still has several months to decide on his NFL future. Clemson is off to a 6-0 start and appears poised to make a run at its second national title since Lawrence joined the program. Averaging 305.5 yards passing per game to go with a 17:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he’s playing better football than he ever has at the college level.

"No matter where I go — whether that's across the country or whether it's close to home, whether I stay another year — we'll work it out," Lawrence said.