Lawrence, likely No. 1 overall pick, enters draft

by 24USATVJan. 6, 2021, 4 p.m. 24
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Potential No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence declares for the 2021 NFL draft as he thanks Clemson for helping him get to this moment. (2:20)

If there was any real drama remaining for Clemson fans, Trevor Lawrence put an official end to it Wednesday, releasing a video on social media announcing he would enter the NFL draft.

"My time here has been amazing, and I'll be a Clemson Tiger forever," Lawrence said in the video.

Lawrence led Clemson to a national championship as a freshman in 2018 and won his first 25 starts for the Tigers before falling to LSU in last year's title game. He made the College Football Playoff all three years of his career at Clemson. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting announced Tuesday, and he's widely expected to be the No. 1 overall selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2021 NFL draft.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney called Lawrence, "the greatest winner I've been around," and praised his QB for his work off the field, too.

Lawrence helped organize a social justice movement at Clemson this summer and he was integral in the #WeWantToPlay movement that helped push the sport's leaders to move forward with a college football season amid the coronavirus pandemic this year.

"Looking back on it, I hope my legacy is that I was a great teammate and a great person overall, more than how I played," Lawrence said. "It's how I treated people. I want that to be the main thing I'm known for."

Lawrence initially told ESPN's College GameDay in October that he planned to enter the draft, but he later backtracked on that comment, saying "who knows" what the future holds, which added to speculation he might return to school if he wasn't happy with the team likely to draft him.

"I'm just trying to enjoy my last few months here if that's what I decide to do," Lawrence said at the time. "I'm just trying to enjoy it, and obviously I'm not trying to make a stir. I don't want any more people talking about me than they already are, so my thing is I'm just never going to corner myself to where I have to do something just because of something I said in the past."

After testing positive for COVID-19 and missing Clemson's games against Boston College and Notre Dame, Lawrence returned to lead the Tigers to a sixth straight ACC championship, before falling to Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinal last week.

Lawrence finishes his Clemson career third in the school's history in passing yards (10,098) and second in TD passes (90).

"To all my teammates over the past three years, it's been the most fun ride I've been on," Lawrence said. "I'll look back on these last three years and have the best memories."

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