Athletes Beyond Bartow: Former Canes Lawrence and Forristall return to College Football Playoffs
With the final selections for the College Football Playoff now in place, we could be in line to see a fifth matchup between Alabama and Clemson. That would also be a second matchup between former Cartersville Hurricanes Trevor Lawrence and Miller Forristall.
Both programs and players will have to take care of business in the New Year's Day semifinals to set up the meeting, but each of their teams will be favored to reach the finals.
Alabama earned the top spot in the four-team playoff and will match up with No. 4 seed Notre Dame in one semifinal. Clemson and Ohio State — led by Harrison High School product Justin Fields — will meet in the semifinals for the second straight season.
The former Canes Lawrence and Forristall met in the title game two years ago. Lawrence put together a historic performance, leading the Tigers to a 44-16 victory.
Ashton Hagans (Cartersville native; Minnesota Timberwolves) — A two-way player, Hagans is listed on the Timberwolves' active roster heading into the start of the 2020-21 regular season. Minnesota opens against Detroit Wednesday at home.
Vic Beasley (Adairsville; Las Vegas Raiders) — Beasley played just a dozen snaps — with no recorded statistics — in a 30-27 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Thursday at home. With the regular season winding down, Las Vegas (7-7) will host Miami Sunday and travel Week 17 to Denver.
DiAnthony Heathcock (Columbia International Fr., Woodland) — Heathcock posted eight points and the same number of rebounds in a 94-82 loss last Tuesday at Reinhardt. The true freshman added a pair of blocks in a career-high 22 minutes.
Jaylon Pugh (Furman Jr., Cartersville) — While playing a career-best 23 minutes, Pugh finished with three points to go with single tallies in rebounds, assists and steals during an 83-80 defeat last Tuesday at Alabama. Pugh did not feature in Furman's other two games last week — a loss to Winthrop and a victory over South Carolina State.
Miller Forristall (Alabama R-Sr., Cartersville) — Forristall caught three passes for 20 yards and even carried the ball once for a single yard, as the Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship Game. The No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, Alabama held off Florida by a 52-46 final score Saturday in Atlanta. In the CFP semifinals, Forristall and Co. will face Notre Dame at 4 p.m. Jan. 1 in Arlington, Texas.
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson Jr., Cartersville) — Lawrence bounced back from an early interception to produce one of his best games of the season in a 34-10 victory over Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Overall, the presumptive top pick in the upcoming NFL draft finished 25-for-36 passing for 322 yards and added 90 yards on the ground. Lawrence connected with Amari Rogers and E.J. Williams on touchdown passes, while scoring himself on a 34-yard run. Lawrence earned MVP honors for the game, and he was also announced as first-team all-ACC quarterback this week. The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder also was named among three finalists for the Davey O'Brien and Maxwell awards. Clemson finished No. 2 in the CFP final rankings and will face Ohio State in a semifinal rematch at 8 p.m. Jan. 1 in New Orleans. ---- contributed by Nicholas Sullivan, The Daily Tribune News