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Clemson football star Trevor Lawrence's first pro contract still a long way off

Thomas Barrabi

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters the Tigers’ 2019 campaign with a national championship already to his name, but the sophomore phenom still has a long wait until his first shot at a professional payday.

Lawrence was one of three Clemson players named to the Associated Press’ preseason All-American first team on Tuesday, an honor reserved for players expected to make the biggest impact this fall. Earlier this year, Lawrence became the first true freshman quarterback in more than three decades to lead his team to a national title, defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide.

While Lawrence is expected to draw major interest from NFL teams, the league’s rules require that players be at least three years removed from high school before they can enter the draft and go pro. Lawrence, who turns 20 in October, won’t be eligible until the 2021 NFL Draft.

Barring a significant on-field setback, Lawrence is projected as a potential No. 1 overall selection when he does enter the draft. For context, quarterback Kyler Murray, the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, eventually agreed to a four-year rookie contract worth roughly $35 million.

Lawrence is expected to vie with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, another top NFL prospect, for the Heisman Trophy this fall. Tagovailoa, a junior, is expected to be a high first-round pick in the 2020 draft.

The top-ranked Clemson Tigers kick off their 2019 season at home against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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