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With Clemson back on the practice field, quarterback Trevor Lawrence says, "I just feel like we are a little more prepared this year, even just timing of receivers and stuff, O-line, more continuity in the O-line."

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CLEMSON — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a busy summer.

Whether it was getting home to his family in Cartersville, Georgia, or working various camps, helping a generation of future signal-callers reach their potential, Lawrence was busy traveling. But there was one camp that stuck out more than others — working at the prestigious Manning Academy Camp.

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"It was cool to get to know a lot of those guys out there that are in different places and it’s always cool seeing guys from different schools and kind of how their life is and what it’s like at those schools. And you kind of get to talk about that," Lawrence said. "And then also just to be able to compete. It’s fun to go in the summer and get to compete against guys you usually don’t get to compete against. That’s always a good experience."

One was a player Lawrence faced in the last game of the 2018 season -- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Even though Trevor and Tua have a budding rivalry on the field, there is one thing they share in common — faith.

For both Lawrence and Tagovailoa, faith has been a key component in navigating the pressure of being the faces of two of the nation's top programs.

"Obviously our faith is something that we’re connected, so we talked about that a lot. He’s a great dude and hopefully I’ll see him again in the future," Lawrence said. "We’re in similar situations and it’s always good and beneficial to talk to guys that are in similar situations and see how they do things and how their life is.

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"We got to talk and it was just cool talking to him. We’re going through the same things. And just hearing how he deals with it and some of the cool stuff that he’s been able to do speaking at different things. And kind of how he stays level-headed with all that stuff was really cool."

After spending time learning from Tua, it was time for Lawrence to learn from, arguably, the first family of quarterbacks in the NFL — the Mannings.

"And then from the Mannings, they’re an awesome family," Lawrence said. "A lot of good stories between Archie and Eli and Peyton and all of them. But they have a lot of wisdom, three of them playing in the NFL, one still playing. They have a ton of wisdom to impart on us. And they help us out a lot. We kind of did some training sessions, so it was really cool."

For Lawrence, who grew up as a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers and idolized Peyton Manning, the ability to go to the Manning Academy was a dream come true.

But even though he had the opportunity to learn from his idol, he is still trying to be his own player.

"I don’t think I really emulated a lot of stuff that he’s done. He’s been my favorite player, and he was my favorite quarterback growing up," Lawrence said. "But I feel like I’ve always had my own style and didn’t really take much of other people’s things and try to use though. I see how people play and watch their film and see how they learn and the things that they do.

"That’s the stuff I’m really interested in, their habits, their routines, stuff like that. But I think as far as my playing style, I kind of have my own style."

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Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia. He is editor of www.ClemsonMaven.io

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