Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he's "100 percent committed" to playing the 2020 football season and never strongly considered opting out, despite his status as the likely top pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Following Clemson's Friday practice, the junior addressed his decision to play this season, saying his primary concerns surrounded the school's safety protocols and whether the Tigers would have a chance to play a full season of games.
"Everyone's thought about it, but since I made the decision to play, I haven't thought about it," Lawrence said. "I'm committed. It's my last year here ... and I'm super pumped."
Lawrence said he and senior tailback Travis Etienne, who also chose to return for 2020, had several discussions about playing this season, but ultimately both decided they were firmly committed to Clemson.
Lawrence said he understands why several other high-profile players have opted out for the 2020 season, but his NFL draft stock didn't play into his concerns. He said the loss in last season's national championship game left a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and he joked that after some early struggles in 2019, "everyone was saying I still had things to work on."
Ultimately, the decision to play this season was simply about getting another year with his teammates, he said.
"It's about playing football," Lawrence said. "I don't want to give up that opportunity to play another year at Clemson. I'm really excited to have at least one more year here and I wasn't ready to give that up."
Lawrence did say that should games be canceled or the season be rescheduled for the spring, he would have to reevaluate his decision.
Lawrence also addressed concerns raised by players in the Big Ten and Pac-12 in recent open letters published to The Players Tribune, in which the players asked for improvements in safety protocols, medical care guarantees and other COVID-19 protections. Lawrence said he agreed with those sentiments, but he was more skeptical of other requests, including revenue sharing between schools and players.
"I didn't agree with everything that was on there," said Lawrence, who spent part of his offseason speaking out on social justice issues, including leading a protest march on campus in June, "but it was people using their voice to support what they believe in, and I support that."