Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is the leading candidate to become the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and win the Heisman Trophy as the top player in college football, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play against Boston College on Saturday.
Two Clemson sources confirmed that information to Newsday on Thursday, citing the statement issued by Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
"Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation," the statement said. "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."
Through six games, Lawrence has completed 71% of his passes and thrown for 21 touchdowns.
True freshman D.J. Uiagalelei, the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country for 2020, now is projected as the likely starter. In limited action this season, Uiagalelei has completed 12 of 19 passes for 102 yards and run for two touchdowns.
Under the rules set forth by the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Medical Advisory Group, Lawrence will be required to isolate for at least 10 days after the positive test before returning to practice, assuming he no longer is showing symptoms. That also puts Lawrence at risk for missing the Nov. 7 game against Notre Dame, which is 5-0 and faces lowly Georgia Tech this Saturday before taking on Clemson on Nov. 7. The Irish have been a longtime independent but are competing in the ACC this season on a provisional basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawrence issued a statement in which he said: "I have tested positive for COVID-19, and my symptoms have been relatively mild while I’m following protocol from Clemson and the ACC. The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love. 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."
This will be the first start Lawrence has missed in his three seasons at Clemson. He was sidelined by an injury during his first start against Syracuse in 2018. Backup Chace Brice, who since has transferred to Duke, entered the game and led a fourth-quarter comeback that preserved Clemson’s unbeaten season on their way to a national title.