When entering the Lawrence family home, you’re greeted by an open family room with sprinkles of Clemson University paraphernalia everywhere. You immediately know this is a Tiger house.
Until a few years ago, that wasn’t the case. Jeremy and Amanda Lawrence have lived in Cartersville, Georgia for a little over 14 years and have raised three kids. One of them is instantly recognized by sports fans, but all three of their children are insanely talented.
Oldest son, Chase is an accomplished artist at 24. The youngest and only girl, Olivia, is an eight-year-old Hurricane who, according to her father, is a “professional slime maker.”
Middle child, Trevor, is making waves in the world of Football as one of the top collegiate quarterbacks in the country. But according to his parents, this wasn’t a surprise.
V3 had the opportunity to learn about Trevor’s childhood and how the Lawrence family has grown closer together since their son was drafted and became the leader-under-center for the Clemson Tigers.
Amanda works for Harbin Clinic Ear, Nose and Throat as a nurse practitioner and Jeremy is the safety and environmental manager for Gerdau, a steel company. They both grew up playing sports and you can imagine the shock they had when their first born, Chase, wanted nothing to do with sports.
They recognized early on that Chase wasn’t interested and have supported him in every step of his path to becoming a very successful artist. But when the second of the Lawrence children came along and wanted to play all the sports, they were in far more familiar territory.
According to Jeremy, “Trevor played everything. But mainly basketball and baseball and one year of soccer before he was old enough to play football.”
Trevor was five when he started playing sports. “He played soccer that first year for Trinity,” his mother recalls. Jeremy adds, “He started football at six for Parks and Recreation. He played there a couple of years and then we took him to Acworth until he was in middle school.” Trevor attended Euharlee Elementary school until the fourth grade. In fifth grade, his parents moved him to Cartersville Middle School and thus began the chain of events that led Trevor to where he is today.
As a child, he was wild… in a good and boyish way.
“Until he was about five,” Jeremy says, “he was just a ball of energy, just wild and all boy. He was either wide open or asleep. There was no in between. Then when he was about six or seven he kind of calmed down.”
Sports helped to tame the horses in his motor, for sure. “He was always intense in every sporting event that he played,” his mother said as she thought back to his time as a youngster. “He was always very focused and intense. But he wasn’t just bouncing off the walls anymore. He gives everything to whatever sport he plays, and he has always been that way.”
With all of that focus for such a young kid, it is easy to wonder if Trevor’s parents could pinpoint when they knew that he had the potential to become one of the most talented athletes this area has had the pleasure of watching.
“You know, you never know where it’s going to go,” Jeremy admits, “but probably around eight is when we started seeing that he was going to do well. At that age you never know what they are going to do,but he was very athletic. He could do a lot of things that kids his age shouldn’t have been able to do.” Jeremy’s friends began to take notice of his son’s talent and, with his suspicions confirmed, the involved father dove into educating himself on the steps he needed to take to help his son succeed.
Dad played football growing up, but this was new territory for everyone. “I started taking him to camps when he was eight. We sent him to instructional camps and competitive camps. And when he reached 11 or 12, they had invite-only camps that he was going to and it grew from there.”
Jeremy, according to Amanda, did a ton of research to find the best camps for Trevor and even though it was overwhelming at times, his goal was always the same: find what was best for his son. “It is a fine line, and I made some mistakes along the way. They still have to be kids and have fun. Once the workouts become all work and no fun, that’s when it’s not worth it anymore.”
By the time Trevor had reached the eighth grade, he was leaving the middle school to join the high school team in their spring workouts. Joey King and Michael Bail led the team and the Lawrence’s felt very lucky to have such a strong team. “We are very fortunate,” Jeremy says,” because we had a quarterback coach in our high school program. Michael is very good and it is rare for even an elite high school program to have a quarterback coach.”
His years at Cartersville High School have paid off in a major way. Whether it was the training, the coaches, the support of an entire community or a combination of all of it, it is hard to be sure. But soon, it became very clear to the fans of Cartersville Football, that they weren’t the only one’s with eyes on Trevor.
It was a big day in Cartersville when Trevor announced his choice of school. But that wasn’t an easy decision to make.
And how could it be?
The pressure must have been unbearable. Amanda and Jeremy, as always, wanted to be sure that they encouraged Trevor in whatever decision he made. Amanda says that first and foremost, they “wanted it to be his decision, because he was the one who was going to have to live it.” Jeremy adds that “We wanted him to feel comfortable at the school, with the coach and with the staff. And my biggest thing was that if he can’t play football anymore, it needs to be a school that he would still want to go to. So, when he made up his mind, we had some questions as to why he chose Clemson. This was, academically, athletically and geography, where he felt most comfortable.”
Trevor is majoring in marketing with a minor in sports management. Every school wanted him, and that time was very reminiscent of a montage scene in the hit feature film “The Blind Side” when Michael Oher had to choose a school.
Including the small sibling with big opinions, Olivia won’t hesitate to share her opinions on schools other than Clemson. According to her parents, “Olivia is a very big Clemson fan and she is not very polite to other high-profile college teams.” She supports her big brother in his decision all the way. But not everyone was so willing to get on board.
Living in the middle of Northwest Georgia, it is hard to turn a corner without seeing the UGA flag flying from porches or a bulldog statue in the front lawn. So, for Trevor to choose Clemson over Georgia, some people weren’t happy. But the one thing that the Lawrence family stresses is that the Cartersville community has always supported Trevor in ways their family couldn’t imagine.
“The local folks have always been great to him. There’s never been any friction here,” his father says.
There has been an outpouring of love, pride and support for this hometown hero. Amanda explains, “I guess because people do like Trevor, they willing to pull for Clemson.”
Anyone who lives in the Cartersville can tell you that there has never been a time when so many Clemson games have been watched from this part of the world since Trevor joined the team. UGA diehards will watch just to see Trevor dominate. But with all the newfound fame, family life has changed drastically.
Fortunately, that change has been mostly for the better. As a family, life is very different. Getting together is next to impossible but despite all of that, Jeremy says, “I think it has brought us closer together in many ways. It’s been very challenging and stressful at times and it definitely cuts into the amount of family time. But as far as going to games and travelling, it brings a lot of our family and friends together. He and Chase are no doubt closer than they ever were growing up.”
There is also something to be said about how grounded Trevor has remained during his time on the gridiron and his parents give all the credit to the people in the Cartersville community. “He’s never been an attention seeker type of person, Jeremy smiles.” But you know, we had a lot of help in the community. Help like his time playing little league and Coach King at the high school is a great influence.” Amanda adds that there are a great deal of Christ influences surrounding Trevor. “Good Godly men, from his hairdresser Scott Holder to Joey King to Michael Bail to Richard Brown and his dad, help make him a man we are all extremely proud of.”
Overall, the Lawrence Family has confidence moving into this next year at Clemson. They know what to expect from the school and they know that they have an entire community supporting them. They know that Trevor is where he is meant to be and they know that no matter what happens, their family has been made stronger through this experience.
Olivia speaks for all of Trevor’s supporters when she says, “Go Tigers!”