The next NFL draft is seven months away, yet the hype surrounding Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his ultimate pro football destination is in full throttle.
Social media has become a veritable clearinghouse for NFL fans to express their great displeasure with their favored team’s starting quarterback while publicly declaring a wanton desire for Lawrence to be the No. 1 selection in the 2021 draft.
That’s assuming, of course, that their team has earned the right to hold the No. 1 pick thanks to a 32nd-place finish in the NFL standings in a season that’s only three games old.
In other words, the “Tanking for Trevor” phenomenon is upon us.
“I try to ignore it as much as possible,” Lawrence said. “Obviously, if you’re on social media at all, you can’t help but see some of it. It’s just funny.”
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence(16) and other players walk off the field after warmups before their game against The Citadel Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (Photo: KEN RUINARD/Staff)
Fans of several NFL teams have ratcheted up the intensity of the Lawrence Sweepstakes of late, with several winless teams the early leaders in the clubhouse. The Eagles, Giants, Jets, Vikings and Falcons are all winless after three games.
Fans pull no punches in their Twitter posts:
► “3 losses down. 13 to go. Trevor Lawrence, we’re coming,” wrote one.
► “I don’t know how to feel about this win as a Panthers fan. I appreciate the players and staff effort, but I also want Trevor Lawrence for the next two decades…” added another.
► “Already got my Trevor Lawrence jersey pre-ordered,” shared another.
► “Maybe the Giants and the Jets can share Trevor Lawrence,” one New York fan chimed in.
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Former Florida State and NFL quarterback E.J. Manuel says he hasn’t been surprised by the widespread “Tanking for Trevor” movement.
“Player-wise, they’re not going to tank, but of course the fans are going to have fun with that,” said Manuel, who works as an analyst for the ACC Network. “Once their team isn’t doing good, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, here’s something good to look out for – maybe we can get Trevor Lawrence.’
“We’re probably about six weeks away (from the fervor). Once we get to Week 9, Week 10, that’s when fans will really start pumping it, but no team will go out there trying to lose a football game, I guarantee you that.”
Lawrence, a senior from Cartersville, Georgia, said Tuesday that he didn’t rabidly support any NFL team growing up, but cheered for the Atlanta Falcons because they were the home state team and were favored among the majority of his friends.
They’re also a newcomer to “Tanking for Trevor.”
“It’s a new team every week, so I don’t think there’s any real insight into what’s going to happen,” Lawrence said. “It’s a long season – there have only been three games in the NFL and we’re on our third game. I mean it’s kind of interesting to see all the stuff that comes to me.
“It’s funny. I don’t take it too seriously. You can’t really predict where you’re going to go, what’s going to happen, so all I can do is enjoy my time while I’m here, perform the best I can and enjoy where I’m at right now. We’ll see next year what happens.”
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