CLEMSON — The Clemson Tiger football team is not even a month removed from winning their second national title in the last three years with a 44-16 dominating victory over Alabama and the reasons for the Crimson Tide’s worst loss of the Nick Saban era have began to slowly roll in.
First, it was they simply did not “have any juice” in the game, according to former Gamecock Cory Miller.
“The biggest thing for me, Alabama didn't have any juice in that ballgame,” Miller said during a radio interview. “There was a lack of focus for whatever reason, and the team just wasn't ready to play. They had a lot of things going on with the coaching staff and guys moving around. You always worry about that at the end of the season. And not to take anything away from Clemson, but Alabama just wasn't ready to play.
“For whatever reason, they thought they could coast through, but they couldn't get things moving. I thought they could score 40-plus points on Clemson, and I thought the game would be flipped, honestly. I thought Alabama would win with that type of score.”
Now it is mental fatigue.
According to Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, the Crimson Tide suffered from “mental fatigue” that ultimately led to the 28-point loss.
"Honestly, I know it might sound cliché … but, before the game, you could feel it was gonna be a rough one,” Jacobs said in an interview with Pro Football Talk Live. "Not only young players trying to feel the vibe of big games, being able to play so long after a certain amount of time, it kind of wears on you, especially when you play great teams week in and week out. You get everybody’s best shot. It kind of wears on you. I think the team was just mentally fatigued.
“For the most part, I think people were just fatigued.”
Brady’s agent wants Lawrence now
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has already been tabbed as the best pro quarterback prospect in the nation.
Lawrence, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., would be the “clear-cut No.1” quarterback in this year’s draft if he were eligible.
“Yeah, Trevor Lawrence is elite. He’s super elite,” Kiper said. "He was coming in; he is right now. And Justyn Ross, another true freshman, really helped him out. (Travis) Etienne in the backfield, that veteran offensive line, all the pieces, (Tee) Higgins — tremendous pieces around Lawrence.
“But to do what he did, and think about 30 touchdowns and four picks, OK? Go back to the last five or six games, no interceptions. Go back to the money games. He’s at 66 percent, Greeny. Trevor Lawrence would be up there in that rarefied air, that stratosphere of the Andrew Lucks and the John Elways and all these super, super elite quarterbacks.”
It is that kind of expectation that has some agents, namely Don Yee — agent for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — offering Lawrence a unique opportunity.
Yee, currently a partner in the Pacific Pro Football league, a minor league of football that plans to open play this year, has offered Lawrence an opportunity to learn the NFL game before he turns pro.
“Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, we would like to make him a player offer right away,” Yee said on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. “He would be a professional and he would learn an NFL-style game before he declares for the draft.”