NEW ORLEANS—Speculation has surrounded the future No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft since he led the Clemson Tigers to a perfect 15-0 season in 2018 and is on the verge of completing the task for a second straight time with a win over the LSU Tigers in Mondays College Football Playoff National Championship.

Should Trevor Lawrence sit out next season and protect himself from injury, or should he risk injury and return in hopes of leading Clemson to a sixth straight playoff and potentially another national title.

That question was asked and answered by SEC Network radio host Paul Finebaum Saturday, "I think that Trevor Lawrence should sit out next year and not play. If he wins Monday night, what more does he have to accomplish?"

Saturday at the Tigers pre-championship media day, Lawrence put to bed any idea that he will be sitting out next season, or taking his talents to the newly reborn XFL.

"I think it's just people who don't understand college football and what I came here to do," Lawrence said. "And just to be a part of a school like Clemson and a team like this is really special to me. I wouldn't throw that year away to just sit out in case of injury or whatever it may be.

"So I think just those people don't understand the position that we're in and it's not just about money or whatever. It's about just being part of a team and really enjoying being with the guys that you've been here with the past couple of years."

Lawrence earned Fiesta Bowl Offensive MVP honors for his performance against Ohio State, completing 18-of-33 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns and leading Clemson with 16 carries for a career-high 107 yards and a touchdown, and engineered the fifth-largest comeback in school history (16 points) against the Buckeyes, contributing all 94 yards (83 passing, 11 rushing) on a four-play game-winning drive that culminated with the game-winning touchdown pass to Travis Etienne with 1:49 remaining.

But even as his stock continues to rise, Lawrence finished by reiterating the fact that the relationships and journey he has been on with his teammates means more to him than the dollars.

"Definitely. I never thought about sitting out or doing any of that," Lawrence said. "I don't want to do that. So for me, like I said, it's just being with these guys that I've been with the past few years and really finishing and trying to go out on the right note."