It’s almost fate. The Jaguars were able to nab two players from the same university with their first two selections of the 2021 NFL Draft, both of which were thought of as perhaps the best players at their respective positions.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne created one of the most deadly combinations in college football over the past three years at Clemson, now reunite as the No. 1 overall and No. 25 overall selection by Jacksonville.
They are the first quarterback, running back combination to be selected by the same team in the first round of the NFL Draft in the modern era. And they couldn’t be more excited.
“I honestly was not expecting it at all,” Lawrence said on Friday during his introductory press conference when asked about his emotions when he found out his teammate was being selected with the No. 25 pick.
Lawrence, his wife Marissa, and family were celebrating, taking pictures to memorialize a historic moment, drafted with the first pick of an NFL Draft, the first, first overall selection in Jaguars history. They paused for moments to spectate who their new home team would be choosing next. And then, Lawrence would receive a text.
“‘We’re picking Travis,’” the text read, Lawrence recalled.
“So, I was like, ‘I didn’t even know we were taking a running back.’ It was awesome. So, like I said it just makes it special. I’ve got someone to come with me from Clemson and it’s just awesome.”
Over the past three seasons, Lawrence and Etienne would connect on an impressive 95 passes for 1,083 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. The two’s chemistry would seemingly explode following the 2018 season, a season in which Clemson would win the National Championship Game.
Asked to recall his most memorable play that his new teammate, Etienne, made during his time at Clemson, Lawrence would use the opportunity to take a friendly jab at his new head coach, Urban Meyer, retelling a play against Meyer’s former stopping grounds, Ohio State.
“I hate to say it in front of Coach [Meyer], but he had two plays against Ohio State that were pretty special,” said the Jaguars’ newest signal-caller.
“So, got a little ‘dub’ pass to him and then threw a screen to him—what like 50 yards. So, he’s just special. Not only as a player, but as person. So, I’m just really glad I get to have a former teammate come along with me on this new journey.”
Shortly after being selected Etienne expressed how much he wanted to join the Jaguars, hoping the team would select him 25th overall. During Friday’s introductory press conference, he would expand on why he wanted to be in Jacksonville so much - because of Lawrence.
“I knew Trevor was coming here. You’d be crazy not to want to play with Trevor Lawrence,” Etienne explained, resulting in laughter amongst the audience and Jaguars brass. “I definitely wanted to be with Trevor. I feel as if, like I said earlier, it brings me that sense of normalcy being with him these past three years. I feel like I can’t wait to do great things here.”
#Jaguars RB Travis Etienne recalled his favorite play by Lawrence, and referenced a long touchdown from Lawrence to receiver Amari Rogers against GT:— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) May 1, 2021
"I’ve seen that a million times with Trevor." pic.twitter.com/glCmg0TuDj
With Lawrence in town, it gives Etienne a sense of normalcy, having spent the past three years with his quarterback. Now, the duo will spend at least four years together at the professional level. “I’m just thankful that I have Trevor and we’re on the same team. We don’t have to fight against each other.”
The two’s chemistry has been building over the course of their collegiate careers, especially the past two seasons, Etienne said.
“His sophomore and junior years, we stayed out after practice and kept working, kept working, kept working. You just see it kind of pays off. You see it on the field now, he’s throwing me darts, things he probably would’ve thrown to me his freshman year, now he has the confidence in me and trust in me, so I’m grateful.”
Now the two will be able to continue that bond, that chemistry, with the Jaguars. A dynamic duo in the Jacksonville backfield.