JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence will be the Week 1 starter.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft who has competed for the starting quarterback position in Jaguars 2021 Training Camp, was named the starter Wednesday. Head Coach Urban Meyer announced the decision to the media shortly after noon Wednesday.
"Trevor's going to be the starter Week 1 and he'll start this week as well," Meyer said.
The Jaguars will visit the Dallas Cowboys in the '21 preseason finale Sunday. They are scheduled to open the 2021 regular-season at the Houston Texans September 12.
"I'm really excited for the opportunity; I'm grateful for it," Lawrence said. "It doesn't really change anything, though. We still have the same task in front of us. We've got to get a lot better individually, as a team, as an offense. It brings some clarity, which is nice, going forward. But it really doesn't change much."
Meyer said he told passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer of the decision Wednesday morning, and Lawrence said the decision was then discussed in the quarterback meeting room.
"We're not making it bigger than it is," Lawrence said. "I'll be the starter. I have to play well. It doesn't change."
Lawrence, who played collegiately at Clemson, started the first two preseason games – playing two series in a Preseason Week 1 loss to Cleveland and six series in a Preseason Week 2 loss at New Orleans. He and veteran Gardner Minshew II had been splitting first- and second-team repetitions in practice.
Lawrence completed 20 of 32 passes for 184 yards and no touchdowns with no interceptions in two preseason games. Minshew, who started 20 games for the Jaguars the last two seasons after being selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, completed 17 of 29 passes for 196 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions in two preseason games.
"It's a three-week preseason as opposed to a four," Meyer said. "We wanted him (Lawrence) to earn it, as we do with every position. We felt he has."
Meyer said last week he hoped to make a decision before the end of the preseason.
"I kind of in my mind had that after the second preseason game we kind of had to [name a starter]," Meyer said. "We have to get somebody to play in three weeks."
Meyer also on Wednesday called backup quarterback "open," with third-team quarterback C.J. Beathard having completed 22 of 30 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns in two preseason games.
"My respect for Gardner has been well-documented; he's a warrior," Meyer said, noting that Minshew at times faced a heavy pass rush against the Saints Monday. "He got stuck behind some protection issues; at times he was running for his life back there."
Meyer said of Beathard, "I like C.J. as a person. He's got a nice release. The ball gets out fast. He played well, so yes … that's open as well."