Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence tests positive for COVID-19

Ken Ruinard
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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19, putting into doubt whether the face of college football will be available to play the top-ranked Tigers’ biggest game of the season.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement released by the school Thursday night that Lawrence is in isolation with mild symptoms.

Swinney said Lawrence would miss Clemson’s game Saturday against Boston College. The Tigers are scheduled to play No. 4 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on Nov. 7.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

Lawrence said in a statement on Twitter that his symptoms have been “relatively mild” and he was following protocol from Clemson and the ACC about the virus.

“The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love,” he said.

Lawrence said he’d be watching and cheering for the Tigers from isolation.

The junior from Georgia is a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy and potentially the top overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. He led the Tigers (6-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a national championship as a freshman and back to the College Football playoff championship game last season. Clemson’s loss to LSU in the title game was the first — and still only — game the Tigers have lost in Lawrence’s 32 career starts.

Clemson is tested three times a week per Atlantic Coast Conference protocol.

Lawrence created a stir earlier this week when asked about his NFL future said he still had the option to stay or leave.

“My mindset has been that I’m going to move on,” Lawrence said Tuesday. “But who knows? There’s a lot of things that could happen.”

Swinney said that while Lawrence will be missed against the Eagles (4-2, 3-2), it was an “opportunity for other guys to step up.”

Freshman passer D.J. Uiagalelei has been the first in after Lawrence this season when games get out of hand. Uiagalelei, at 6-4 and 250 pounds, was rated the country’s second-best college prospect by Rivals.com last season. He enrolled in January and went through spring drills until the coronavirus pandemic shut down college sports last March.

Uiagalelei has completed 12 of 19 passes for 102 yards. The Tigers also have used sophomore Taisun Phommachanh and Hunter Helms at quarterback this season.

Clemson has won its past 27 games against ACC competition and the past nine against Boston College.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.