JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (ABC4 Sports) – It had been over five months since Devin Lloyd last played some football, so, you can imagine he was to be back out there for Jacksonville Jaguars rookie mini-camp this weekend.
“Finally, man!” Lloyd said with a big smile. “This is the longest it’s been without being on the field and being with the team. I think last time was the Rose Bowl. So it feels amazing to be back finally. I’m just looking forward to getting better everyday.”
Lloyd became just the ninth first round draft pick in Utah football history, when he was selected with the 27th overall pick by the Jaguars. He just signed his rookie deal, a 4-year contract worth almost $13 million, all guaranteed.
Since arriving at camp, Lloyd has immersed himself in the playbook, as he transitions to playing in a 3-4 defense for the first time in his career.
“Yeah, this is my first time in a 3-4, but I love it,” Lloyd said. “But if you look at the people that we have, I know we’re not practicing with the vets right now, but even the guys we have right now, everybody is athletic. Everybody has to do a lot of things which fits my skillset.”
As a two-time All-American and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Lloyd isn’t resting on his laurels. He knows he has to prove himself all over again.
“That’s in the past,” he said. “I’m really focused on what I’ve got to do to get better than last year. You can feed into that. You can’t think, oh I’m this, I’m that. No, you’ve got to continue to get better.”
“It’s a credit to Devin obviously, he’s such a tremendous person, not only a football player,,” said Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson. “He wants to develop, he wants to get better and he wants to learn from these veteran. He wants to learns what it means to be a pro.”
Lloyd thought about wearing #22 with the Jags to honor Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe, who tragically died within a year of each other. But Lloyd wanted to leave that legacy to them, and instead chose #33.
“It came down to a decision where I really wanted 22 to be Aaron and Ty’s legacy,” Lloyd said. “That’s their number. That’s their legacy. It would have been an awesome representation, but that’s their legacy, and I don’t want to touch that legacy. I honor them by wearing this red band. This is the red band that we got at Aaron’s funeral. So that’s how I honor them.”
Lloyd is hoping to catch up with his former team when the Utes play at Florida in Gainsville the first week oof the season.
“Man, I hope so,” he said. “I haven’t heard the dates yet, but I heard that we might possibly be able to have that day off. So if we do, I’m down there.”
Once a Ute, always a Ute.