Jimmy Smith is sold that with Urban Meyer at the helm, Trevor Lawrence will thrive in Year 1.
When Trevor Lawrence stepped off the plane in Duval County, everything changed for the Clemson star. No longer was he the can’t-miss prospect coming out of college. Instead, he was the face of the franchise for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
This moment was been a long time coming for both sides. Lawrence, a proven winner since his freshman year in Cartersville, Ga., has waited to become the franchise star for a team. The Jaguars, who have made the playoffs seven times since entering the league in 1995, might have found its 20-year man under center.
The expectation is for Lawrence to flourish right away under first-year head coach Urban Meyer. According to Pro Bowl wide receiver Jimmy Smith, it’s not too far out of the realm to say the new duo will work right away.
“They’re very fortunate. He’s a proven winner. He’s won on every level,” Smith told FanSided’s Matt Lombardo on the Matt Lombardo Show. “You’ve got a coach in Urban Meyer, who’s won on every level. You have Tim Tebow coming in, who’s won on every level. It’s a new beginning”
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Everything about Lawrence give hope to a franchise that won just a single game last season. Since his senior season, he’s been the No. 1 guy. He took over for Kelly Bryant at Clemson and won a national title over Nick Saban and Alabama as a freshman.
Back-to-back seasons, Lawrence was the preseason Heisman favorite and Clemson was the league favorite to win the College Football Playoff. He was a Heisman finalist, broke nearly every Clemson record and finished 34-2 as a starter under Dabo Swinney — both losses coming in the playoffs.
That’s something Jaguars fans aren’t used too yet.
“Our fans in Jacksonville have endured some hard, hard years. It hasn’t been fair to our fans,” Smith said. “The national media continues to take jabs, at our franchise.”
Having a college coach like Meyer should help with the transition to the professional level. Smith also believes that having a teammate like Travis Etienne should benefit him in trusting his targets early in the passing game.
The Jaguars are still missing several pieces offensively, the fourth-year pro DJ Chark should at least provide stability on the outside. A multi-talented weapon in second-year gadget player Laviska Shenault Jr. should also expand the short to intermediate level of the passing game as well.
Jacksonville still might be a season or two away from contending for a Super Bowl. Smith though believes they have the right coach and right signal-caller. Moving forward it’s about building around the two so a career isn’t wasted.
Lawrence already is being compared to the next Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. If given the proper tools, he could exceed the two within just a few years.