Clemson quarterback and likely future No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence has caught some national attention over the past week after comments made to Sports Illustrated, but on Saturday he also caught some support from a future teammate -- as long as you read between the lines.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated and Michael Rosenberg, Lawrence, who is expected to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first pick of this month's draft, gave an overview of his centered viewpoint on life and the role football plays in it. Since then, pundits throughout national media have opined on Lawrence's drive and ultimate commitment to football.
“It’s hard to explain that because I want people to know that I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but . . . I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong," Lawrence said.
“And I think people mistake that for being a competitor. . . . I think that’s unhealthy to a certain extent, just always thinking that you’ve got to prove somebody wrong, you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to be better.”
It got to the point that Lawrence himself clarified his statements on Saturday with a series of tweets, emphasizing his love for football as a sport, for teamwork, and more.
"I am internally motivated - I love football as much or more than anyone. It is a HUGE priority in my life, obviously. I am driven to be the best I can be, and to maximize my potential. And to WIN," Lawrence said.
"I have a lot of confidence in my work ethic, I love to grind and to chase my goals. You can ask anyone who has been in my life. That being said, I am secure in who I am, and what I believe. I don’t need football to make me feel worthy as a person I purely love the game and Everything that comes with it. The work, the team, the ups and downs. I am a firm believer in the fact that there is a plan for my life and I’m called to be the best I can be at whatever I am doing," Lawrence continued in two other tweets.
The fact that Lawrence had to clarify his statements to begin with shows the type of attention and backlash his statements received. With that said, one player who stood by Lawrence's side as he posted further clarification was Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones, who tweeted a GIF of the infamous "That's my quarterback" quote. Jones' Tweet translates to "Wise beyond his years ..." a
Jones, who signed with the Jaguars in March, didn't name Lawrence specifically in his tweet, but the timing of his tweet, context, and his favorites on Twitter helps show who the subject of his tweet was.
It isn't surprising to see Jones support Lawrence for a number of reasons. For one, Lawrence's stance on football and its place in his life isn't one that is new in the NFL, even if it isn't common for quarterbacks. Many players don't devote their 100% mind and energy and happiness to the game. Secondly, Jones isn't the first Jaguars player to make innuendo comments about Lawrence, nor is the first time he has spoken in reference to Lawrence himself.
"I think I have. We went to the National Championship last year and I’ve watched a little bit of tape. So yeah, [I’m] definitely excited," Jones said on March 22 at his introductory press conference when asked if he has watched tape on quarterback prospects.
Jones comes to Jacksonville five productive years with the Detroit Lions. Jones will have the same offensive coordinator in Jacksonville that he had in the last two seasons in Detroit in Darrell Bevell, but he will now go from catching passes from one former No. 1 overall pick -- Matthew Stafford -- to another.
“It can be different, but I think it’s going to be great just because this is my favorite offense that I’ve been in during my career. The quarterback who comes in here, I’m going to be a tool that he can use, that he can lean on, and the same goes for everybody," Jones said in March.
"I’m definitely excited for the future and excited for what’s going to happen. I’m just excited about this whole opportunity.”