Feb 12, 2021; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence works out during Pro Day in Clemson, South Carolina. Mandatory Credit: David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lawrence says left shoulder is progressing well

Projected No. 1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence said the recovery from surgery on his non-throwing shoulder is going well.

The former Clemson quarterback had the labrum repaired in his left shoulder on Feb. 16.

“As you know, this is really the first serious thing that I’ve dealt with, but I’m doing great,” Lawrence told ESPN on Tuesday. “I actually feel way better than I thought I would at this point.”

After having the surgery, Lawrence’s goal was to be ready prior to training camp. He is expected to starting throwing in late April or early May.

Lawrence is currently rehabbing in Orange County in California.

The Jacksonville Jaguars own the top pick in the 2021 draft and are expected to tab Lawrence.

Lawrence completed 758 of 1,138 passes (66.6 percent) over three seasons at Clemson and recorded totals of 10,098 passing yards, 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He added 943 yards and 18 scores on the ground.

Lawrence guided the Tigers to the national championship following the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) reacts after the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence enters 2021 NFL Draft

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is entering the 2021 NFL Draft after a dominant three-year run with the Tigers.

The projected first overall pick ended his college career with only his second career loss in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Ohio State.

“I really feel like I’m a man now and I’m ready to take on those challenges and just super excited for life ahead. The best is always yet to come … but man, I’m grateful for Clemson and I’m going to miss it,” Lawrence said in a video goodbye posted to social media accounts belonging to him and also Clemson football.

Built like an out-of-box NFL quarterback prototype at 6-5, 225 pounds, Lawrence passed for 400 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Buckeyes, his third CFP appearance in three seasons.

Lawrence was the Heisman Trophy runner-up to Alabama’s DeVonta Smith in 2020. He has been coveted by NFL teams since his brilliant freshman season was capped by a national championship victory over Alabama.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the first overall pick in the draft and owner Shad Khan declared the franchise was looking for a quarterback. Khan, who also shared he made personnel decisions last season, plans to wield the same power going forward while the Jaguars look for a new general manager and head coach.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon (2) walks on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars clinch No. 1 overall pick of 2021 draft

Jacksonville’s franchise-worst 14th consecutive loss combined with the New York Jets’ win on Sunday allowed the Jaguars to clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

That also could be termed as winning the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes with the star Clemson quarterback viewed as the clear No. 1 pick.

It will mark the first time Jacksonville has owned the No. 1 pick in the draft since entering the NFL in 1995.

The Jaguars (1-14) were routed 41-17 by the Chicago Bears on Sunday while the Jets (2-13) posted their second straight upset by recording a 23-16 triumph over the Cleveland Browns.

Jacksonville has started three different quarterbacks this season — Gardner Minshew (1-7), Jake Luton (0-3) and lately Mike Glennon (0-4) — while missing the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons.

Lawrence hasn’t yet announced his future intentions, but he would be the likely starter from the outset of the 2021 season if picked by the Jaguars.

Jacksonville has struggled of late when picking early in the draft. Between 2012-17, the Jaguars had six top-five selections and none of the players are still with the team.

The list includes receiver Justin Blackmon (No. 5, 2012), offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (No. 2, 2013), quarterback Blake Bortles (No. 3, 2014), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (No. 3, 2015), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (No. 5, 2016) and running back Leonard Fournette (No. 4, 2017).

The Jaguars have picked second on three occasions with their best pick being offensive tackle Tony Boselli, who has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist the past four years and figures to be one again when the 2021 finalists are revealed next month.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask (11) passes the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Trask heavy favorite as Fields’ Heisman hopes plummet

Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask appears to be closing in on the Heisman Trophy with two games remaining in his regular season.

Trask is the heavy favorite by sportsbooks, including DraftKings, where his odds have shortened to -125. The fifth-year senior is being backed by 36 percent of the handle and 14 percent of the total Heisman bets at the sportsbook.

Trask has thrown at least three touchdown passes in every game this season.

Mac Jones is the second betting favorite at +100, but only seven percent of the bets are backing the Alabama quarterback who will face Trask in the SEC Championship Game next week. That’s compared to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the preseason favorite whose odds have lengthened to +1200 while missing a month of action due to a positive COVID-19 test and a canceled game.

Lawrence is still being back by 18 percent of the total bets at DraftKings despite having only the ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame between now and when the Heisman votes are submitted.

On the fringe of Heisman consideration is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The second preseason favorite behind Lawrence, Fields’ odds have lengthened to +2500 with the Buckeyes’ scheduled ravaged by COVID-19 issues. However, his odds did not lengthen further in the hours after Ohio State’s game against Michigan was canceled on Tuesday.

Fields has been passed by Ian Book (+1600), although the Notre Dame quarterback is being backed by only seven percent of the total bets and four percent of the handle – lowest among the five.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA;   Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) makes a pass during their game in the second half against Syracuse at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence ready to rock for Clemson

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence says he is “back to normal” as he prepares to return for the No. 4 Tigers’ game on Saturday against Florida State.

The Heisman Trophy candidate missed the past two games after testing positive for COVID-19 and said Tuesday that he is virus-free.

“I feel just as good as I did when I left a few weeks ago,” Lawrence told reporters.

The junior star was in isolation for Clemson’s victory over Boston College on Oct. 31 and on the sidelines for the double-overtime loss at Notre Dame on Nov. 7. The Tigers had a bye last week and that gave Lawrence time to regain his fitness level.

And now, he can’t wait to step on the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference clash against the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

“This shows it’s a privilege to get to do what we do,” Lawrence said. “Being out here, the days can be long sometimes, sometimes you can lose sight of what you do and why you do it.”

Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott can see the excitement oozing out of Lawrence.

“He came back with a ton of energy,” Elliott said. “You could tell that, obviously, he was disappointed he couldn’t be out there for his teammates.”

Florida State coach Mike Norvell would have been just fine with Lawrence needing one more game to recover. But Norvell is certainly impressed with the skills Lawrence possesses.

“He is a special talent, you could say once in a decade,” Norvell said. “He’s a fun player to watch, not only the physical tools, but the charisma that he brings and the leader that he is.”

Tigers backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei performed well in place of Lawrence by passing for 342 yards and two touchdowns against Boston College and 439 yards and two scores against Notre Dame.

But still, the club badly missed Lawrence, who has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns this season against just two interceptions.

Lawrence also has that gaudy 31-1 career record as a starter that makes the Tigers feel an extra bit of comfort when he’s on the field.

The one thing not playing since Oct. 24 has done is removed Lawrence from the role as Heisman favorite. Now he is one of the contenders instead of the lead dog, but he said he isn’t concerned about it.

“No watch list or award list is going to change how I feel or the confidence I have,” Lawrence said.

And, of course, he is looking forward to competing against the Seminoles on Saturday.

“He’s really locked in to try and get back out, and lead the team and playing his best football,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “So you know what you’re gonna get from (No.) 16, no doubt about that.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 7, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) leads the team before the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State QB Fields making Heisman push

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is full throttle in his push for the Heisman Trophy, leapfrogging idle Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the odds on the heels of a six-TD performance last week against Rutgers.

Fields is running second in Heisman odds to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at most books but is now even at BetMGM. Both players are +150 odds, Lawrence is +400 and Florida QB Kyle Trask is fourth at +550.

The biggest mover of the week at BetMGM? Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book went from +10000 to +2500 after guiding the Fighting Irish to an upset of Clemson, then the nation’s No. 1 team.

Jones is at +120 according to Caesar’s, William Hill and DraftKings, which has Fields at +150, and Lawrence, the preseason favorite, at +300. Lawrence has missed the past two games because of a positive COVID-19 test.

He is expected to play in the Tigers’ Nov. 21 game against Florida State following a bye week.

FanDuel opened the Heisman market in February with Fields ahead of Lawrence. Fields was +175 and Lawrence +400.

Fields, Jones and Lawrence are now offered at equal +175 odds. The 7/4 odds mean a bettor placing a $100 wager on the winner would win $175.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) returns the ball to a referee after a 30-yard run for a touchdown against the Boston College Eagles during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Josh Morgan-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson QB Lawrence to ‘coach’ at Notre Dame

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is joining the team at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, but his role won’t be his preferred spot under center.

Lawrence will wear a headset and be used as a sounding board for freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who helped the Tigers escape an upset bid at home last week against Boston College.

The task is vastly different on Saturday.

No. 1 Clemson and Uiagalelei, a top recruit making his second career start, expect a difficult test from the No. 4-ranked Fighting Irish. Head coach Dabo Swinney thinks Lawrence, out after a positive COVID-19 test, can help.

“He’s been there. I think he’ll be able to bring a great presence,” Swinney said Wednesday. “He’s got a great mind. He’s got great eyes. So he’s going to be Coach Lawrence.”

Clemson trailed Boston College by 18 points last week, and Uigalelei helped to guide the Tigers back in the second half of a 34-28 win. Lawrence was not with the team last weekend. He’s required to miss this week due to the timing of his positive COVID-19 test and ACC rules stipulating players cannot return before sitting out 10 days.

“He’s been in the meetings. He’s been Zooming and all that stuff,” Swinney said. “He’s doing well. He’s anxious to get out. He gets back with us Thursday or Friday. So he’ll be with us. He’ll travel with us. He just can’t play because of the cardiac-back-to-play protocol (within the conference 10-day period). There’s no way to get him through that in time for him to play in the game.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA;   Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) gestures during a game between Alabama and Tennessee at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY NETWORK

Justin Fields, Mac Jones emerge as Heisman favorites

An absence of at least two games has cost Trevor Lawrence pole position in the 2020 Heisman Trophy race.

Multiple sportsbooks downgraded Lawrence with the Clemson quarterback out for the second game in a row due to COVID-19. Lawrence did not play Saturday in a 32-28 win over Boston College and has been ruled out for No. 1 Clemson at No. 4 Notre Dame this weekend.

Alabama’s Mac Jones and Ohio State dual threat Justin Fields are getting more love with Lawrence out of the picture.

Lawrence is now 2-1 at FanDuel, which installed Jones and Fields as co-favorites in the latest odds released Sunday night. Lawrence, who has 17 touchdowns and two interceptions this season, is expected to play again this season. He remains the favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft even after hinting early last week, prior to the coronavirus news, that he could be back at Clemson next year.

BetMGM moved Lawrence to 3-1 odds to win the Heisman on Monday morning, behind Jones (1.5-1) and Fields (1.75-1).

Fields was 3.5-1 prior to the start of the season. Ohio State improved to 2-0 on Saturday with a win at Penn State.

The 22-year-old Jones has a QB rating of 198.9 with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. He had four touchdown passes and threw for 291 yards in a 41-0 win over Mississippi State on Saturday that improved the Crimson Tide’s record to 6-0.

There is a cliff between the trio of top contenders at most sportsbooks and the longshots still in the conversation. This all before the Pac-12 kicks off its 2020 regular season this week.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is 20-1 at FanDuel and BetMGM.

The top-rated Heisman contender in the Pac-12 is Southern Cal quarterback Kedon Slovis at 22-1.

Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book remains 150-1 at BetMGM with a chance for his “Heisman moment” in South Bend on Saturday night.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA;   Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) waves to fans after their game against Syracuse at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence’s COVID-19 test triggers ripple effect on odds

News of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s positive COVID-19 test caused a ripple effect across betting odds involving the Tigers and the Heisman Trophy frontrunner.

Lawrence will miss at least this week’s game against Boston College, which led to SportsBetting.com shortening the Tigers’ odds for Saturday’s game to -24.5. The Eagles had been as much as 30.5-point underdogs at the sportsbook this week, but the spread had been bet down to 23.5 by midday Friday.

The Tigers were also bet down to -24 at PointsBet and -23.5 at FanDuel, where the over/under on the game is now 56.5.

SportsBetting.com was one of several books to temporarily remove odds involving Clemson. When they reopened, the Tigers’ remained the national title favorites, but their odds lengthened from +120 to +150.

Clemson is +180 at FanDuel, narrowly ahead of Ohio State at +200, while PointsBet was offering the Tigers at +150 and the Buckeyes at +275 ahead of Alabama (+325).

CFP title odds (SportsBetting.com)
Clemson +150
Alabama +250
Ohio State +300
Georgia +1200
Florida +2500
Michigan +3300
Notre Dame +4500
Texas A&M +5000
Wisconsin +6000
BYU +6600
Oklahoma State +8000
Oregon +8000

Sportsbook.com’s Heisman Trophy odds remained closed Friday. Lawrence had been a -130 favorite, but the book said the odds “will remain closed until his playing status becomes clearer.”

Lawrence remained a -105 favorite at FanDuel, followed by Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+260) and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (+360). No other player is lower than +2400 at the book (Alabama running back Najee Harris).

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) breaks a tackle by Denver Broncos free safety Justin Simmons (31) for a touchdown at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets QB Darnold: Lawrence speculation out of my control

Angry and disgruntled New York Jets fans are becoming more vocal about the possibility that the club could be in position to select Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Current quarterback Sam Darnold hears the chatter and will sidestep it.

“For me, it’s out of my control,” Darnold told reporters on Thursday. “I’m here to do my best and help this team win games.”

The Jets (0-6) are the lone winless team in the NFL and Darnold hasn’t come close to meeting the lofty expectations that were placed on him when he was the No. 3 overall choice out of Southern California by New York in 2018.

Darnold, 23, has thrown 39 touchdown passes and 32 interceptions in 30 starts for the Jets. The team is just 11-19 in those contests.

More and more people are calling on New York to move on from the third-year pro and Darnold is not immune to the speculation that Lawrence would represent a major improvement at the position.

“Yeah, you know, I mean, I have social media,” Darnold said while addressing the Lawrence situation for the initial time. “I’ve seen some of the things. … We’ve got a game to win this week and that’s all we’re worried about.”

Darnold is expected to return to the starting lineup against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday after missing the past two games due to a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder.

Darnold said he isn’t pain-free but he feels he is moving in the right direction. He sustained the injury against the Denver Broncos on Oct. 1.

“There’s a little bit of pain, but it’s nothing crazy,” Darnold said. “I feel like I’m capable of dealing with it.”

Head coach Adam Gase, who is under fire with the club having scored the fewest points (75) in the NFL, would like to see Darnold back on the field. The Jets scored 10 total points in two games with veteran Joe Flacco as the starter.

Darnold has passed for 792 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in four games this season. He allowed that his production isn’t winning football games.

“I don’t think I’ve played well enough to win, that’s just shooting it straight,” Darnold said. “We haven’t won any games, so obviously I haven’t played well enough.”

–Field Level Media