“Not one yet …” said Ron Goss, a Cartersville native and resident of Cartersville, a contractor.

“I can’t say I have,” said Travis Popham, a real estate agent, Cartersville High Graduate and Cartersville Resident.

“To the best of my knowledge, no,” said Don Startup, a pastor who acts as the color commentator for Cartersville High games such as the Donnybrook playoffs last Friday night, nearly 300 miles away near the Florida Line.

Oh, but the dye – the literal dye! – will be manned week after week in late fall 2020 as the jets far away recently rode a bomb (from the Raiders) and another bomb (40-3 against Seattle) on the unambiguous record of 0-13. If they spend the late April NFL Draft American Holiday with a # 1 pick to pick quarterback Trevor Lawrence, formerly from Cartersville High and currently Clemson, then …

“As soon as things are official, you will see a few NFL jerseys all over the county,” said Nicholas Sullivan, who covers the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes and other schools for The Daily Tribune News in Cartersville.

“Cartersville could become the Little Big Apple,” wrote Goss.

“Oh, it will definitely show up on the kids because the kids in this town are just absolutely in love with Trevor,” said Startup.

After all, in what Goss calls Georgia Bulldog Country, no one foresaw the proliferation of orange Clemson jerseys, and now, as Popham notes, seeing kids on Facebook flashing their new orange LAWRENCE 16 is a December thing to let.

Lawrence-to-the-Jets, of course, arouses a tangle of emotions, as does any construct that includes that particular four-letter proper name. “Everyone thinks the hawks have to get him,” said Matt Santini, a brave soul who holds two of America’s most competitive positions: mayor and play-by-play announcer. There’s the terrible fear of inadequate blocking when Santini said, “You just have to look at what happened to Joe Burrow this year,” and Goss said, “You can’t do what the Jets did to Joe Namath, and destroyed his legs. “

The thought of Namath’s knees, which always wince, lives on, 745 miles southwest of the misfortunes of the Jets at home.

Sailing over the tangle, however, is a feeling that is far less cluttered: an unmistakable love and respect for a Clemson graduate (as of Thursday) whom they followed for about half of eternity in the football years. A thousand American cities never experience such a phenomenon, but it does come to a place about 50 minutes northwest of downtown Atlanta when a helicopter hike is only advisable at certain times of the day. Goss shares how he can get to and even park at the Atlanta Braves’ stadium in Cobb County in 25 minutes. Once at home with his small downtown town, he can walk four blocks from his house towards the Friday night lights while listening to the voice of longtime Cartersville Stadium announcer Jack Howell bounced through the air.

“I think that’s why a lot of people can feel like Trevor Lawrence is the neighbor, the cousin,” he said of the local area.

Rumors of Lawrence’s prowess naturally slipped and spread while he was still in middle school. There came a Friday night when he debuted as a high school freshman, and this is where the subscribers came with their Friday night seats and their Friday night conversations, including the group of men in the stands who, because of their indelible character, call themselves “ESPN” Desired was the desire for sport. (“Everyone wants to be Mel Kiper: ‘I think so!'” Goss said.) So Goss again: “We have all been waiting to see this kid, probably 14 years old.” Lawrence, then one of two quarterbacks along with the later and current Alabama bottleneck Miller Forristall, threw a side pass to the right.

There was something about the way football moved.

“I think it was almost a kind of silence,” said Goss.

They had their athletes in Bartow County, including NFL running backs Ronnie Brown, Keith Henderson, and Robert Lavette (Cartersville High), former Clemson and current Raiders defenseman Vic Beasley Jr. (Adairsville High), the youngest No. 1 in New York Yankees pick and catch Anthony Seigler (Cartersville High) and Ashton Hagans (Newton High east of Atlanta), the latest addition to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Their Cartersville Canes, set to play a state semifinal this Friday, have played between 115 and 12 since 2012. This type of arrangement can be seen in places like Tuscaloosa, Clemson, or Columbus, where chronic winning fuels the art of nitpicking. (Lane during a game, Santini said it’s, “Oh my god, what is this? We have to do this! We have to do this!”, Even if the rejoinder is, “You won by two touchdowns.”) You have graduates who play here and there and there on Saturdays.

They still have a lot to do, but now they have tackled the country’s most popular board game, NFL Draft Speculation. In some cases around town, blaming the jets, refueling, or wishing the hawks could be worse than 4-9 was worse than 4-9. That’s because the 6-foot-6, mobile, strong, decent, driven Lawrence has long appeared in sentences near the word “generation”. All that talent did, and here came someone with “the flat head, the mind, the vision, the arm, the size, he had it all. The hair, ”said Goss.

Then they loved something that many cities like, humility, but something further: the way Lawrence carries his status as what Popham calls “a one-off quarterback.” He wears it with a flowing ease that can be seen in Clemson, with almost – almost – a hint of confusion about the surrounding excitement.

When citizens “flooded” their mayor with a request to have Lawrence float through town in a parade after directing Clemson’s 44-16 annihilation of Alabama in the 2018-19 national championship game (with Forristall on the opposing team!), followed Santini and chose Lawrence’s family. “His mom just said, ‘Yes, Trevor, when he gets home he just wants to be normal. He thanks you, but … ‘”said Santini.

“You would have a hard time,” Sullivan said, “to find anyone in these other schools (the three other public schools in Bartow County) who has something negative to say about them.” For me that is more meaningful. “

With years and years of life already in the limelight, and his time in the NFL clearinghouse of Dabo Swinney’s Clemson and temperament, Lawrence seems spectacularly prepared to deal with even a noisy New York mess that some do messed up the prepared species. Those who have studied him the longest, as well as Popham, his reading of the defense, his crucial ability to throw on the run. Goss: Nobody was ever more ready. Sullivan: “I think he’s really the perfect person in terms of personality to try and get into that role. I think honestly this is a huge concern for a lot of people about where he ends up and whether they can protect him so he can be the quarterback they know he could be since he was 14 years old . “

Now they see it all as that rare town where a mayor could advertise. Santini figured it was a breeze that they should soon see the kid they’d known for so long, all raised along with Patrick Mahomes and Troy Polamalu in these natural shampoo ads.