Trevor Lawrence enjoys memorable welcome on first day in Jacksonville

John Reid
Florida Times-Union
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As Trevor Lawrence made his way to the Jaguars facility at TIAA Bank Field for the first time on Friday, he couldn't help but notice the crowd gathered to greet him.

A band of 35 third-grader students from Long Branch Elementary School stood outside the gates at the stadium, near the players' entrance, and greeted Lawrence with cheers and many held up 'welcome to Duval' signs.

Lawrence, who appeared amazed, flashed a smile as big as the one he showed Thursday night with his family and friends in South Carolina after hearing his name called as the No. 1 overall pick by the Jaguars.

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He was presented a football by the students as his wife looked on smiling. It was a memorable moment for Lawrence and plenty more are likely ahead as he was formally introduced by the franchise.

''It's great, pretty warm down here,'' Lawrence said. 'We are going to get in settled in quick. Everyone here is great. The coaching staff, everybody has been awesome. It's exciting to go to work.''

If anyone appears ready to be the face of a franchise, it's Lawrence. He is not overwhelmed by the challenge to help turn around a franchise that's suffered nine losing seasons in 10 years to one that's relevant and successful. He appears to have a willingness to embrace whatever challenges are ahead. The Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL last season at 1-15, but now with his arrival optimism prevails.  

Yet, Lawrence made it known that even after going 34-2 at Clemson and passing for more than 10,000 yards in three seasons, success will not come without having to work. 

''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,'' Lawrence said. ''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.”

Trevor Lawrence says recovery from shoulder surgery is ahead of schedule

Lawrence underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder) in February, but said he's ahead of schedule and feeling good. 

While Lawrence said their next order of business is going house hunting, he said no matter what he is going to start working Monday. 

''We feel good about our quarterback,'' Meyer said. ''His focus is he wants to live here, he wants to move here, he wants to train here, he wants to win. Obviously, that’s very appealing to our staff.”   

Meyer said his plan is to win now with Lawrence, not waiting for a four to six-year plan before seeing success.

''That's the way I've always looked at everything,'' Meyer said. ''Every time we line up is to try and win.''

And that suits Lawrence and his teammate Travis Etienne just fine. Lawrence and Etienne were teammates at Clemson, and now they are reunited in Jacksonville. Etienne was the 25th overall pick in the first round by the Jaguars on Thursday night.

''Trevor has always had the persona about him that he's ready to go and I'm just thankful that I'm going to be on this journey with him,'' Etienne said. 

Expectations are high for Trevor Lawrence era

Widely considered the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck was taken No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, Lawrence could be the Jaguars starting quarterback for the next 10 years.

Perhaps, that's why the 8,000 fans who attended Thursday night's draft party cheered loud, raised their hands up when the announcement came on the huge scoreboards that Lawrence had been selected. It appears better days are ahead for the franchise and Lawrence can't wait for the season to start.

''Right now, my focus is just getting to Jacksonville and doing everything I can to prepare to be the best player I can be. I think with that you earn the respect of your teammates and earn the leadership role and some of that stuff comes along with it.''

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Lawrence is as prepared as anyone to emerge successfully as the face of the Jaguars franchise. Swinney believes Lawrence can just about handle anything, especially being in the spotlight and delivering on the field as expected.

''He's just a winner and the same guy day in and day out,'' Swinney said.  

It's now Jacksonville's chance to see it.

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