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Wednesday feature: Luke Farrell

Matt Stamey/Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt Stamey/Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE – The third day of the NFL Draft is a day for stories. Most sixth- and seventh-round selections aren't well-known, so television cameras delight when a former college turned professional coach calls a father of a former player to say he's picking his son. Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer knew what he wanted – and what he was getting – when he called tight end Luke Farrell late on the final day of the '21 draft. Farrell is a hard-nosed blocking tight end with enough quickness and savvy to contribute to the passing game. He's also smart, tough and the kind of dependable player every coach wants – especially Meyer, who was building his first professional team. Farrell has just six catches for 49 yards as a rookie, but he's a durable blocker and top performer on special teams and still learning to play on Sundays.

Question: You're almost midway through the rookie season. How has it been?

A: I think overall the experience has been great. It has been a pleasant surprise; I didn't really know what to expect. I think the best part has been how those guys have welcomed me into the room. I think we have an awesome tight-end room, and those older guys just took me under their wing and helped me with whatever I needed. I love our group, the offense and the team so far. It has been great.

Q: Is this the same guy you played for at Ohio State or has Meyer changed in the NFL?

A: Ultimately, he's still the same successful, great coach he has been – obviously adjusting a little bit for the NFL game and how the locker room is different as opposed to having 18- and 19-year-old kids to deal with. Ultimately, he still preaches the same stuff that helped us be so successful, culture wise, at Ohio State.

Q: Who were you more excited about connecting with in Jacksonville? Meyer or Trevor Lawrence?

A: Obviously, it's wild having Coach Meyer here. I never would have thought when I was playing for him that I would have this opportunity now, so it's kind of fun to look back on. On the other hand, it's nice to be on the same side as Trevor after playing against him and Clemson in the playoffs. That has been amazing, and he makes a lot of stuff so much easier on the offensive side.

Q: Tell me about playing with a quarterback like Lawrence – and developing a relationship with – who you might play with your entire career. And a really good one at that.

A: That's also something I've been really lucky with; I've played with a lot of really good quarterbacks. Trevor is a generational talent and one thing you notice right away about him is his leadership skills. He commands an offense the way you expect a quarterback to, and it has been awesome to follow his lead on things. I think developing a relationship with him is very important; being on the same page within the offense helps things go smoothly. I'm always working towards earning his trust and being a reliable target for him in the passing game.

Q: Anything surprise you about life in the NFL?

A: I was very lucky to play with so many guys at Ohio State who went to the next level then came back and talked about it. They told me what to expect. The competition level is something I had heard about, but once you experience it first- hand, every day at practice competing that way … it's hard to completely prepare for that. I was very lucky in that sense to have a good idea of how the NFL works and how a team runs.

Q: You're not used to not winning. What has that been like to get used to playing great teams and finding out what it takes to win at this level?

A: That's something that I definitely expected. I know the talent is equal every week and you're always playing the best of the best. It's just different expectations, a different level of work and a mentality that you have to come every week like you're playing the best team and prepare that way no matter what the outcome is. It's been a little bit of an adjustment but something I expected.

Q: Shaking off a loss and getting ready to play again the next week … is that an adjustment for you?

A: Big-time something they emphasized during my time at Ohio State. It was about your reaction. You can't always control what you're given, the event that's in front of you. It's about how you react to it no matter what, good or bad, so that's been my mindset since I was at Ohio State, and it helps you hit the ground running and not dwell on it too long. You have to keep working and it has helped a lot here.

Q: Any doubt in your mind that Meyer will be as successful in professional football as he was in college?

A: We still have complete faith in that. Obviously it hasn't quite been what we set out for ourselves expectation wise. But I don't doubt about that. And I think something that has been important to us is sticking together and not necessarily buying into that outside noise and really dialing in on what we can do every day to get better because that's really the most important thing we can focus on.

Q: How is life in professional football in Jacksonville, Florida?

A: Well, we went out to practiced today in early November and it's 70 degrees and sunny and that's really tough to beat. I've really grown to appreciate what Jacksonville is all about. I had no idea, really never been here or heard anything about Jacksonville coming in. But I've been pleasantly surprised with the area, the town, the beach, a great fan base and everything I hear is happening around here. It's been great and I feel lucky to have been given this chance and I'm going to make the most of it.

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