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East Tennessee native Trevor Lawrence selected first overall in 2021 NFL Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft serves as a reminder of what could have been had Tennessee native Trevor Lawrence decided to wear Pantone 151 and join the Tennessee Volunteers as quarterback.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence(16) warms up with his team before the game against...
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence(16) warms up with his team before the game against Pittsburgh, Nov 28, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports(Ken Ruinard | Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:36 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The 2021 NFL Draft is a reminder for Vol fans of what could have been had Knoxville native Trevor Lawrence decided to join the Tennessee Volunteers as quarterback. He visited Rocky Top on a few recruiting trips in 2015 and 2016 but ultimately, Lawrence played for Clemson before he was selected first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

It took only 24 minutes for that infamous image to pop up on the screen Thursday night. Vols fans are all too familiar with it: an adolescent Trevor Lawrence standing inside Neyland Stadium wearing a Peyton Manning Tennessee jersey.

It serves as a reminder of what could have been had Lawrence decided to wear Pantone 151 instead of a different shade of orange during his college career.

The Jacksonville Jaguars waited more than four months to make the easiest and maybe most significant pick in franchise history. A sold-out draft party that included 8,000 fans celebrated as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium and announced Trevor Lawrence’s name as the first pick in the draft Thursday night.

The Clemson star had a more subdued reaction in Seneca, South Carolina — probably because he knew, like everyone else, that he would be the first pick in the NFL draft.

“It was just a kind of a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Lawrence said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to get us back to where we need to be. I’m going to put in the work. No one’s going to work harder than me.”

The Jags added one of Lawrence’s college teammates, a standout running back Travis Etienne, with the 25th pick in the first round. Like Lawrence, Etienne grew up a Tennessee fan. The move pairs two of the most productive players in Clemson history as centerpieces of Urban Meyer’s offense.

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