Trevor Lawrence Q&A: Jaguars QB on Tim Tebow, Gardner Minshew, and Jacksonville’s 2021 opportunities
The Jaguars received the 2021 NFL Draft Award when they picked Trevor Lawrence as the first overall winner. Now all eyes are on the young quarterback as he tries to get Jacksonville back into the race. In a team full of big names, from the new trainer Urban Meyer to the converted QB Tim Tebow, nobody is expected to do more than Lawrence.
This week, between some of his first few practice sessions with the club, the No. 1 pick teamed up with Gatorade to award USC appointee Jaxson Dart of Corner Canyon High School, Utah with the 2020 National Football Player of the Year award 21 to surprise. Lawrence himself was named Georgia Player of the Year by Gatorade during his own high school years.
As a volunteer for the national Gatorade Award, which was presented to past and current NFL stars like Kyler Murray (2014), Peyton Manning (1994) and Emmitt Smith (1987), Lawrence also spoke to CBS Sports about everything from rookie Expectations for Tebow’s role in his new relationship with previous QB Gardner Minshew:
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What makes you most proud to be part of this year’s awards ceremony?
Laurentius: I think everything is closing somehow. You know, going from a similar position – I won the state player of the year award – to get that award was cool. And what I really appreciate is that it’s not just about football, it’s also about how you behave in school and in the community. Because all three things are important.
Do you see any similarities between you and Jaxson Dart?
(laughs) Of course the hair. No, it seems great. I don’t know him very well, I only spoke to him for about five minutes after that and he seems like a real down to earth boy. He had his brothers with him so I respected that. But he seems like a good boy, obviously a really good player, and I’m looking forward to seeing him advance.
Both you and Tim Tebow spoke out about your beliefs. Why is this so important to you, and do you think it helps build a deeper relationship the first time?
Laurentius: It is definitely a connection point. For me it has always been my answer to just be honest when asked what keeps me going. This is my foundation. Almost everything in my life is football but I know it won’t last forever, it will be gone one day so it’s just being honest, which is more important.
You were in a whirlwind this spring, got married, then moved in and then moved. How was it?
Laurentius: Yeah, it just takes getting used to, you know? We never really had a honeymoon or anything like that, so our marriage didn’t start out like most people did, but we’re also very excited to be in that position. I know a lot of people are likely to want to swap with our locations so we are grateful. And Marissa was great. She really took care of a lot of things I don’t have time for right now and we’re excited.
Before arriving, Gardner Minshew had his own small fan base in Jacksonville. What was your first impression of Gardner and how do you think it fits in with it?
Laurentius: Yes, I like Gardner a lot. I didn’t know him before I came here, but we’ve known each other for a few weeks now. He’s a great competitor, his teammates love him. And it’s a different dynamic than No. 1 pick getting to a place the quarterback has already been there and you’re wondering how that’s going to go. But he was great. Really helpful. It’s not like he’s sitting in a corner in meetings trying to get people to his side. You can just say this is the guy who just wants to win.
Is there a chance that we will see packages with you, Gardner and Tebow in the field at the same time this year?
Laurentius: (laughs) I hope so. We haven’t got that far yet, we’re still installing, but I hope so.
What was your first insight from working with the beneficiaries you have compared to the ones you had in college?
Laurentius: Yes, I would just say it was the case with everyone. You can see how well everyone is prepared. Everything is really detail oriented and everyone is ready to work. For example, recipients come up to you and ask, ‘Can we let some of these go?’ Anyone who’s done this before just knows what they’re doing.
You mentioned that you and Urban Meyer are not using a “five-year plan”, but that you want to win now. Is it too early to say the Jaguars could be in the playoff chase this year?
Laurentius: (laughs) You’re getting me in trouble. I mean, they brought me here to win. That’s what I’m here for. I say this: I like the pieces we have here. If you look at the team there are a lot of talented guys here. I don’t know what happened in the past few years, we don’t have to go into it, but there is talent … you never know what can happen, but we are focused on preparing to play Houston in September .