JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This is Trevor Lawrence’s town now.
The No. 1 overall draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars arrived at his new home on Friday morning with a festive crowd and a student cheering section from Longbranch Elementary greeting him and his wife, Marissa, as they arrived at TIAA Bank Field.
Trentiss, a student at the school and quarterback of the Westside Wildcats, presented Lawrence with a football.
“I felt honored to do it,” Trentiss said.
“I was shaking,” said 9-year-old Latiara. “It was my first time meeting a football player!”
Lawrence, along with fellow first-round pick and former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne with the media this afternoon.
After a whirlwind Thursday night, Lawrence arrived in town Friday morning and tried to take it all in. It was his first time in Jacksonville and said that he’s excited to learn about the town and make it feel like home. Lawrence said he’s glad to be playing in Jacksonville. It’s close to his home in Cartersville, Ga. and he said that it has a big, small-town feel to it.
“I’m excited that I’m here. I’m officially like a part of a team now. That’s kind of a weird period going from, you’re on a team like your whole life and then you have this period before the draft where you’re kind of just, you’re working to get better but you’re not a part of the team and I’ve missed that,” he said. “So, just excited for that.”
The Jaguars hope that Lawrence, one of the most successful quarterbacks in college football history at Clemson, helps turn the fortunes of the franchise around in a hurry. He’s been pegged as one of the most dynamic NFL prospects ever, drawing comparisons to John Elway, Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning.
He’s already a national commodity, signing endorsement deals with companies like Adidas, Bose and Gatorade. The biggest challenge for Lawrence — becoming a franchise quarterback for a team that has been starving for one.
That he arrives in Jacksonville with a familiar face in Etienne makes it that much smoother for Lawrence.
“So, I started watching around 20. I had no idea what we were going to take and then I got a text right before it went on TV, we’re picking Travis,” Lawrence said. “I was like ‘I didn’t even know we’re gonna take a running back.’ It was, it was awesome. So, like I said, it just makes it special. I got someone to come with me from Clemson and it’s just awesome.”
Etienne was somewhat of a surprising pick with Jacksonville’s second pick of the first round, but said that he was hopeful of Jacksonville taking him with that selection. Why, exactly?
“Well, I knew Trev was coming here. You’d be crazy not to want to play with Trevor Lawrence,” Etienne said. “Definitely wanted to be with Trev. Like I said earlier, [it] brings me that sense of normalcy, just being with him these past three years. Just can’t wait to do great things here.”
Lawrence said that he was ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. He said that the plan was to hit the ground running and begin working out next week.
“Healthwise, I’m feeling really good. I don’t know what percentage I’d be, I don’t even know how to gauge that, but I’m on track. I’m actually a little bit ahead of schedule. So, expecting to be back, you know, whenever we get started. So, really ready for that, like I said, to be a part of a team again,” he said.
“And then as far as the logistics of getting here and all that stuff, I haven’t figured it out exactly yet. Got to find a spot to stay in first. So, trying to figure that out. There’s a lot of moving parts. But no matter where I’m at, I’m going to start working out here Monday and get back to my normal routine.”