"Everybody's goal should be as high as possible. That's the biggest thing for a rookie; to win defensive rookie of the year. That's my ultimate goal," Durant said when asked what he'd like to accomplish in his rookie season.
The Jaguars' second-round pick, the first Division II player selected in this year's NFL draft, signed his contract Friday morning and is ready to pursue his goals. He wants to contribute in any way he can, "and, hopefully, to eventually become a starter," he said.
Durant was a player the Jaguars targeted in the draft. They loved his speed and aggressiveness. They see him as a run-and-hit guy with impact-player potential.
"I'm feelin' real good. Coming into the OTA's, I was kind of nervous at first. I'm confident in what I do and the coaches are confident in me," the linebacker from Hampton said.
Durant signed a contract in the presence of his agent, Adisa Bakari, who represented a very productive second-round pick last season.
"He's a good evaluator of talent," Durant said of Bakari, who negotiated Maurice Jones-Drew's rookie deal. "He has Mike Walker also. He has a good eye for talent.
"I'm not rich," Durant said of his contract. "A little bit of money; gotta earn it."
Because he played at a small school, Durant comes into the league facing the same doubts Rashean Mathis did when Mathis came out of Bethune-Cookman as a second-round pick in 2003.
"It's kind of hard. I just play with a little chip on my shoulder. It's motivation for me. It drives me every day to work hard," Durant said.
What's he going to do with his signing bonus?
"First I'm gonna pay off my mother's house; put away about half of it. I already got a car. I gotta pay that off," Durant said.
Saturday morning, of course, Durant will only be thinking of football, as the Jaguars take the field for the start of training camp. As of noon on Friday, first-round pick Reggie Nelson was the only Jaguars player not under contract. The Jaguars hoped to get Nelson done before the first practice.
Players are to report to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Friday and are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. meeting at which they will be officially welcomed to camp by head coach Jack Del Rio.