Clemson star Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for the coronavirus, the school announced tonight.
The junior quarterback, a leading candidate to go No. 1 in next year’s NFL draft, is set to miss the top-ranked Tigers’ game on Saturday against Boston College.
“Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is now in isolation,” Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. “He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College. While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we’re excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers.”
Lawrence subsequently used social media to confirm the positive test, and he echoed Swinney’s assessment in declaring that his symptoms were “relatively mild.”
“The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love,” he wrote. “I hate that I can’t be there, but I’ll be watching from isolation and pulling for our guys while I wait for the opportunity to rejoin the team.”
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) October 30, 2020
An August report by the ACC’s Medical Advisory Group called for football players to be tested three times each week during the season, and for 10 days in isolation for athletes who test positive.
To return to practices and/or games, an ACC athlete with a positive test must gain medical clearance from team physicians, including a cardiac evaluation, after completing the isolation period.
Per the ACC’s protocols, Clemson will have to conduct contact tracing and quarantine as necessary for other football players who have been in close contact with Lawrence.
The Tigers’ backup quarterbacks are a pair of freshmen, D.J. Uiagalelei and Taisun Phommachanh.
The 10 days Lawrence must spend in isolation could put in jeopardy his availability for Clemson’s biggest game of the season, a Nov. 7 showdown with No. 4 Notre Dame.
Lawrence, 21, was a leading figure in an August campaign by a number of college football players to push against calls for the sport to shut down amid the pandemic.
“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” Lawrence wrote then on Twitter. “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 [the virus]. … Football is a safe haven for so many people. We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football.”
President Trump, who for months has advocated for economies to reopen and for sports events to resume, said in August that he had spoken with Lawrence, as well as with LSU Coach Ed Orgeron, about the issue.
Lawrence, whom Trump described as “very smart,” wanted to “play football,” said the president, adding, “Let ’em play.”
The world of college football was rocked earlier this month when Alabama Coach Nick Saban was announced as having tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, he tested negative three straight times shortly after that and was on the sideline for the second-ranked Crimson Tide’s next game, a win over then-No. 3 Georgia.
Alabama’s team physician, Jimmy Robinson, said at the time that according to the SEC’s coronavirus protocols, the three negative tests allowed Saban’s initial result to be deemed a “false positive.”