Trevor Lawrence knew he would be the first-overall pick before he was selected. Not willing to jinx himself, he waited until draft night to officially don the Jaguars’ hat, officially becoming the team’s next franchise quarterback.
He won’t take the opportunity for granted, however, making sure to note that the respect he wants to receive must be earned, not simply given because he was drafted at the top spot in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence is ready to be a part of a franchise ran by Urban Meyer, noting that he’s a winner, something he’s done his entire career.
“Like you said about adjusting and adapting, I think that’s something I do well just because I want to earn the respect of everyone around me — teammates and coaches,” Lawrence told members of the media shortly following his selection via video conference.
“I’m not expecting for anyone to hand me anything. I want to come in there and earn the respect and the right to lead the team. That’s what I’m going to do and just to put the work in like I said.”
This moment is something that every football player strives for when they begin playing the sport at a young age. Lawrence is no different and says that there was a weight lifted off his shoulders.
“There obviously has been a lot of expectations coming into this draft. Nothing’s official. To experience this moment that we’ve all been waiting for a long time with my family and friends was really special,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence was always thought to be the first-overall pick of this year’s draft. The expectations set out for him have been the highest perhaps since even before Andrew Luck was selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Even with all of the lofty expectations, Lawrence wants to earn everything he gets in Jacksonville, including the starting position quarterback position.
“My mindset always going in is that I’m going to earn everything that I get, so coming in I don’t have any expectations from anyone else other than myself,” he said.
“I expect to perform well and to adjust quickly and be ready to go, and that’s something I expect a lot out of myself, so that’s where I’m at mentally. From there like I said it’s just about earning – I think the biggest thing is – the respect and trust of your teammates.
“Without that it doesn’t really matter what you expect going in, you’ve got to earn that first. I’m just going to take it step by step, but like I said I’m going to do everything in my power to prepare, to be the best I can be and put us in the best chance to win.”
Jaguars fans have sent plenty of love to the team’s new franchise quarterback, well before he was officially selected on Thursday evening. First, the fans started a fund to purchase Lawrence and his wife, Marissa, a couple of wedding gifts, including a toaster. Then, after some thought, the fans chipped in to donate to charities of Lawrence’s choice.
Lawrence and his wife would add $20,000 to the fan’s $11,000+ fund to donate to charity.
He found out about the charity initiative and wedding gifts a week-and-a-half to two weeks prior. The warm welcome, something that just shows how special the community is in Jacksonville, Lawrence said.
“We were really hoping that that was the landing spot, obviously that just added to it, a super special community. It shows how much they believe in themselves, in the community and the people they’re bringing in and we’re just really excited to be a part of that. Super cool, obviously, whenever you can give back and help people in need, it’s obviously a plus.”
Now, Lawrence has officially found his landing spot in the NFL, a long process officially over.
“Finally, getting to experience this moment that we’ve all been waiting for a long time with my family and friends was really special.”