Trevor Lawrence ready to make history in Jacksonville


by - Senior Writer -
Lawrence says he's ready to take the next step in his journey.
Lawrence says he's ready to take the next step in his journey.

Trevor Lawrence made history Thursday night, and now he’s ready to make history in Jacksonville.

Lawrence was the No. 1 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement in Cleveland, Ohio – the site of the draft – shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.

Lawrence had been widely speculated to be the No. 1 selection by the Jaguars since the team secured the selection last December. But the team had not confirmed the selection before the draft.

Lawrence (6-feet-6, 220 pounds), 21, went 34-2 in three seasons as a starter at Clemson – 11-0 as a freshman in 2018, 14-1 as a sophomore in 2019 and 11-1 as a junior this past season. He led the Tigers to appearances in the National Championship Game following his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Clemson won the national title following his freshman season, when Lawrence was named Offensive Most Valuable Player for his performance in a 44-16 victory over Alabama.

Lawrence completed 758 of 1,138 passes for 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns with 17 interceptions in three collegiate seasons, throwing for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior this past season. He also rushed for 943 yards and 18 touchdowns for Clemson.

"Pretty surreal," Lawrence told ESPN's Marty Smith on the draft telecast from Seneca, South Carolina, shortly after being picked. "Obviously this has been the dream for the past few years. And like I've said, I didn't even dream this as a kid, so [it's] really special and just having all the people that I care about here watching, it's really hard to explain.

"I was super nervous before and just am so excited to be a part of the Jacksonville community. ... I'm super excited to be coming to Jacksonville and play for you guys and can't wait to go to work."

Jags head coach Urban Meyer, general manager Trent Baalke and owner Shad Khan never told anyone they were going with Lawrence as the top pick, but there was very little drama heading into the evening.

“No negatives,” Baalke said recently. “All the research we’ve done, you’re always looking for the stars to align when you’re looking at prospects, whether that be from a physical, mental, character aspect, whatever the case may be. With his situation, like many others in this draft, the stars all align and that’s what you’re looking for.”

This was the first time in franchise history the Jaguars held the No. 1 selection. They previously had selected No. 2 overall three times, selecting offensive tackle Tony Boselli No. 2 in 1995, linebacker Kevin Hardy No. 2 in 1996 and left tackle Luke Joeckel No. 2 in 2013.

Lawrence became the fourth quarterback selected by the team in Round 1 – and the fourth selected in the Top 10. The Jaguars selected Byron Leftwich No. 7 overall in 2003, Blaine Gabbert No. 10 overall in 2011 and Blake Bortles No. 3 overall in 2014.

Lawrence said he is relieved to have his next step planned out.

“It was just a kind of a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Lawrence said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to get us back to where we need to be. I’m going to put in the work. No one’s going to work harder than me.”

He then said that he doesn’t expect to be the day-one starter and that he wants to take the success he's had to Jacksonville.

“My mindset always going in is I’m going to earn everything that I get,” Lawrence said. “I don’t have any expectations for anything other myself. I’m not expecting anyone to hand me anything. I want to come in there and earn the respect and trust of my teammates and the right to lead the team. That's the plan moving on to Jacksonville - just to continue to do things that haven't been done and continue to lead and do things the right way."

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