Winter 2022 magazine

Trevor Lawrence aims to 'be a light' for Christ as he leads resurgent Jaguars

Reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week Trevor Lawrence got asked during his media availability Wednesday if he knew who the last Jacksonville Jaguars player to earn the honor was. When Lawrence was informed it was David Gerrard during the 2010 season, he smiled and stated the obvious: “Wow, it’s been a while.”

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The second-year quarterback received the award Wednesday for his 262-yard, three-touchdown performance in Jacksonville’s 38-10 road win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. His 28 completions on 39 attempts were tied for the second-highest total of his young NFL career.

Lawrence — who played Sunday’s game with “Romans 8:28written on his right wristband — is completing 69.4% of his passes through three games and is the only quarterback besides Patrick Mahomes with at least six touchdown passes and fewer than two interceptions. The Jaguars — off to a 2-1 for the first time since 2018 under new head coach Doug Pederson — look like one of the most improved teams in the league, and people are taking notice.

“We’re not really worried about any of the attention that we get,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “Obviously, the goal is to play really well every week. Win a lot of games, and you’re going to get some attention, so I think we’re doing a good job of doing that.”

The Player of the Week award is the first individual accolade the former Clemson star has picked up since Jacksonville took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft. When asked about the award, Lawrence was quick to credit the people around him.

“I think it says more about, just, this organization, this team, specifically — the staff, the players that are around me,” he said during his media availability. “Obviously, I’ve been able to play well the last few weeks, but most of that is the guys around me and the coaches around me. We’re all putting each other in positions to be successful.”

Shortly after being drafted, Lawrence joined the “Faith on the Field” podcast and discussed the foundational role of his faith, which he has never shied from talking about. He explained how his relationship with God helps him keep what happens on the football field in perspective.

“No matter what happens, I have my foundation,” he said on the podcast. “I know who I am. … I don’t put everything into how I perform. I’m going to do everything I can to prepare and play the best I can and be ready every day. But at the end of the day, if I don’t have a great day, I’ve got to know who I am outside of the game.”

In a 2019 Sports Illustrated profile, Lawrence described being spiritually lost when he got to Clemson and how getting connected to NewSpring Chruch transformed his college experience. He eventually went on a retreat called “The Gauntlet” with the church, during which Lawrence told Sports Illustrated he “was truly saved.”

It’s led him to want his career to be about more than excelling on the football field. Lawrence sees his physical skills as gifts from God and tries to use them accordingly.

“I don’t think anyone has abilities for no reason,” he told Sports Illustrated. “I don’t think anything is coincidence. God gave me these things for a reason, not just talent on the field, but other opportunities to be a light to people.”

Up next for the Jaguars is a trip to Philadelphia to face the 3-0 Eagles in a game that carries a special significance for Pederson, who led the team to its only Super Bowl victory in 2017 and is immortalized in a statue outside Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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