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Heisman Trophy front-runner Trevor Lawrence tests positive for COVID-19

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against LSU during the first half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans.

Associated Press

The most high-profile college football player in the country, Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence, has tested positive for COVID-19.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (with colleague Ian Rapoport) was the first to report the news Thursday evening. ESPN’s Holly Rowe also did a short time later, and then the school released a statement confirming the news, attributed to head coach Dabo Swinney.

“Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation,” the statement read. “He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College. While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we’re excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers.”

Lawrence himself also posted a statement in a tweet Thursday night saying he is following Clemson and Atlantic Coast Conference protocols.

“The only thing that hurts is missing an opportunity to be with my teammates this weekend and play the game I love,” the tweet read. “I hate that I can’t be there, but I’ll be watching from isolation and pulling for our guys while I wait for the opportunity to rejoin the team. God bless and Go Tigers!”

Lawrence, a junior for the top-ranked Tigers, is the presumptive favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season and also be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Through six games this season, he has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns against two interceptions as Clemson has largely cruised its way to a 6-0 record.

Depending on how long Lawrence is in quarantine, it’s possible he could also miss the Tigers’ high-profile game on Nov. 7 against No. 4 Notre Dame.

Lawrence becomes the second known Power Five starting quarterback to test positive for COVID-19 in recent days, as Wisconsin Badgers signal caller Graham Mertz also did as part of an outbreak within the Badger football program.