Trevor Lawrence doesn’t need football in his life to be OK, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t motivated to play the sport as well as he can as he makes his way to the NFL.
The former Clemson quarterback and presumed No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday clarified quotes from a Wednesday Sports Illustrated article in which he claimed he didn’t “have this huge chip on my shoulder.” That led some to question his motivation to play in the league, though he said his initial comments were “misread.”
“It seems as if people are misreading my sentiment. I am internally motivated — I love football as much or more than anyone,” Lawrence tweeted. “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.
“I have a lot of confidence in my work ethic, I love to grind and to chase my goals. You can ask anyone who has been in my life. That being said, I am secure in who I am, and what I believe. I don’t need football to make me feel worthy as a person. I purely love the game and 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.”
Here are the comments that prompted the criticism of Lawrence, who has exhibited no other shortcomings or faults in the draft process, intangible or otherwise:
“It’s not like I need (football) for my life to be OK,” Lawrence told SI. “I want to do it because I want to be the best I can be. I want to maximize my potential. Who wouldn’t want to? You kind of waste it if you don’t.
“It’s hard to explain that because I want people to know that I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but … I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong. I just don’t have that. I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to.”
Lack of motivation toward the game of football — really, invested interest in anything outside the sport — has long been a cause for concern among NFL scouts, GMs and coaches. But the NFL is ultimately a business, and it appears Lawrence is approaching it as such. And no, that doesn’t mean he’s not motivated to be the best player he can be.