College Sports

The story behind Clemson’s John Simpson wearing a Trevor Lawrence wig at ACC Kickoff

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney previews 2019 season

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Tigers lost several stars off 2018 team

Clemson offensive lineman John Simpson was scrolling through his Twitter mentions after it was announced that he was going to be representing Clemson’s offense at the ACC Kickoff Event in Charlotte and one tweet in particular caught his attention.

“Fully believe that John Simpson should show up to ACC Media Days wearing a blonde wig and just answer all questions doing his worst Trevor Lawrence impression. Give the talking heads what they want,” the post read.

Simpson laughed at the thought of wearing a blonde wig and didn’t think much of it, but as it turns out his head coach had a similar thought.

After several media members (including myself) questioned Clemson’s decision to send Simpson to the ACC Kickoff event instead of Heisman candidate Trevor Lawrence, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney came up with an idea.

And when Simpson hopped on the plane to fly to Charlotte Tuesday night for the media event, Swinney handed Simpson a blonde wig.

“Coach Swinney pulled it out of a bag and was like, ‘Here you go man.’ He put it on me and said, ‘I want you to do your best Trevor Lawrence impression,’” Simpson recalled with a laugh. “I was like, ‘I’ll think about it, coach.’ He said, ‘No, it’s not up for debate.’ I was like, ‘You know what, that would actually be funny.’ So I did it.”

Pictures and videos of Simpson wearing the wig went viral on social media, and the senior offensive lineman had fun with it.

“It’s a great experience. I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” Simpson said. “I’m enjoying myself. It’s just fun. Being an offensive lineman, nobody really wanted me to come here. But being here, it’s a blessing. I’m just happy. I’m just taking it all in.”

Not just the ACC

A lot of questions were asked at the ACC Kickoff event about trying to keep up with Clemson, but as N.C. State coach Dave Doeren pointed out, it’s not just ACC teams that are behind the Tigers.

“I think they’re the best team in college football right now and proved it on the field,” Doeren said. “It’s everyone else’s job to try to catch them.”

Doing so will not be easy as the Tigers are heavy favorites to once again win the ACC and reach the College Football Playoff. With that said, Clemson has stumbled at times in recent years, falling to Pitt in 2016 and Syracuse in 2017. N.C. State has also played the Tigers tough recently, losing by a touchdown in two of the past three years.

“I think everybody’s capable of being beat,” Doeren said. “Every Saturday you see major upsets in college football. You see it every year. Nobody is perfect.”

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