Swinney on Heisman: 'Best Player in the Country is Trevor Lawrence'

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the best player in the country, whether he wins a Heisman Trophy or not.

Trevor Lawrence came into the season as one of, if not the favorite, to win the Heisman Trophy. 

After a sizzling start to the season, Lawrence seemed well poised to bring Clemson it's first-ever Heisman. However, after a five-week layoff that started with a positive Covid test, his chances of winning have decreased dramatically. 

However, Dabo Swinney says that Lawrence doesn't need any award to prove his worth. The Tigers head coach has no doubts when it comes to who the best player in the country is.

"The best player in the country is Trevor Lawrence," Swinney said. "I mean I don't really care what anybody says and there's a lot of great players out there, but the best player in the country is Trevor Lawrence. He doesn't need to win the Heisman for that to be the case."

Swinney says that if the coaching staff wanted to ensure that Lawrence would win the award, that is something they could easily do. That isn't what the Clemson program is about though.

"If our goal was for him to win the Heisman, he'd be leading for the Heisman right now," Swinney said. "No doubt about that. But you know that's not our goal. Our goal is to just to win the game."

Lawrence playing on a team that has been so dominant does not help his case. As Swinney notes, the award has become as much about a player's stats than anything else.

"He's only played in like 20 of his 37 fourth quarters," Swinney said. "He's been on a dominant football team. We've won more games the last five years than anybody in the history of college football. He's been a dominant player. And unfortunately, the Heisman is a lot about stats."

Swinney has built a program in which team goals will always be the priority. While there is no doubt the Tigers head coach would love to add a Heisman to the team's trophy case, he says that they will never sacrifice what is best for the team. 

"If our number one goal was to win a Heisman, we'd already have won one, but it's not the goal," Swinney said. "This is not a program built on individual things, we're built on team. The trophy we want to win is the team trophy."