JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If you're looking for a feel good story about a player facing his childhood team, you're about to be disappointed.
Jaguars rookie defensive end Yannick Ngakoue grew up in Maryland and played college football in his home state, but he didn't root for the hometown team.
In fact, it was quite the opposite. Ngakoue was a fan of the Baltimore Ravens' chief rival.
As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan in Baltimore, Ngakoue became very familiar with the rivalry. That knowledge may help him on Sunday when the Jaguars face the Ravens at EverBank Field.
“It’s a big rivalry with the Ravens,” Ngakoue said. “I feel like this week is going to be a personal week because it’s my hometown team, since it’s the Ravens."
Ngakoue is coming off a game where he was one of the few bright spots in a blowout loss. The rookie recorded his first career sack and caused his first turnover. Now, going up against the hometown team, he knows has to keep his foot on the gas.
"It’s going to be different, I’ve got a lot to prove," Ngakoue said. "I feel like I’ve got a lot to prove every week because 32 teams passed up on me.”
Despite his personal goals, he knows that the Jaguars' needs come first. He hopes to not only punish teams for not drafting him, but also give the Jaguars a boost from his selection.
“I want us to win, first and foremost,” Ngakoue said.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.