NFL Draft: Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence goes No. 1 overall to Jacksonville Jaguars

Scott Keepfer
Greenville News
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By the time he capped his freshman season at Clemson with a national championship, Trevor Lawrence had been categorized as a “generational talent” and a future No. 1 draft pick by NFL analysts.

They were right.

Lawrence, who was 34-2 in three seasons as the Tigers’ starting quarterback, was selected No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night to kick off the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars plodded to a 1-15 record last season, but won the Lawrence sweepstakes, nipping the New York Jets’ 2-14 mark to claim the draft’s top position.

To the surprise of no one, the Jaguars responded by making the strong-armed, 6-foot-6, 220-pound quarterback the first No. 1 draft pick in Clemson football history.

"There have been so many great players come through Clemson," said Lawrence, who watched the draft surrounded by family and friends in Seneca. "That's absolutely special to me. I don't take that lightly. It just kind of shows we made history ever since I have been at Clemson, and it has been awesome to be a part of that with Coach Swinney and all of my teammates."

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Jaguars fans are counting on Lawrence and new coach Urban Meyer to turn around the franchise’s fortunes. The Jaguars have had only one winning season in the last 13 years and have struggled to find consistency at the quarterback position.

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Lawrence, who has been called the best quarterback prospect to enter the draft since Andrew Luck went No. 1 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, is a newlywed who tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Marissa Mowry on April 10, but his courtship with the Jaguars has been under way for a while as well. To wit:

► Meyer was glued to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s side during Lawrence’s Pro Day workout at Clemson on Feb. 12, scrutinizing Lawrence’s every rollout, dropback and throw;

► Jaguars fans recently raised more than $11,000 to purchase a wedding gift for the Lawrences, who promptly responded with a $20,000 donation to Jacksonville charities and a proclamation that they “hope to be a part of your community soon”;

► Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry had downtown Jacksonville’s Acosta Bridge lit up in orange and purple – Clemson’s colors – Wednesday night on the eve of the draft.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence(16) points to fans after the College Football Playoff Semifinal   Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, La  USA;  at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday night, the courtship came to an end just after 8 o'clock.

Let the honeymoon stage begin.

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