The Los Angeles Rams have one of the NFL's best offenses at the moment, and Ravenwood alum Van Jefferson is part of the charge.
The second-year receiver has 304 yards and 3 touchdowns so far this season, building on his 220-yard, 1-touchdown rookie performance.
The quarterback switch from Jared Goff to MVP candidate Matthew Stafford is certainly helping the former Florida receiver find his place in Sean McVay's offense.
His coach is taking notice in the role he's having for the 6-1 Rams.
"Just the ownership of what we're asking him to do," Rams head coach Sean McVay said about how Jefferson's improved via the team's website. "I think he's really worked hard. You can see he's a really conscientious player.
"But understand how to work edges on guys versus bump, aggressively attacking the football and then really just having an ownership of the system, the things that we're trying to get done, where he fits within the framework of the different concepts, and it's getting better and better.
"He's making a lot of plays, that should give him a lot of confidence. And then there's still things that we can continue to just improve on to really be at the upper echelon, but feel really good about Van, I think he's made a lot of really good progress."
Just this past Sunday, Jefferson pulled in a Randy Moss-esque catch for a touchdown in the Rams' 28-19 win over the Detroit Lions.
The Rams and Cardinals are major Super Bowl contenders at this juncture of the season, someone Van credits in helping him instill the mindset to go the extra mile. Rams receivers coach Eric Yarber recalled seeing Jefferson run extra routes after practice full-speed his rookie year.
"I kind of formed that habit in college, but I think that I would stay after practice if – if I drop a ball on a specific route, I would have to run it over maybe like five times just so I can get that catches five times, and so that's kind of what I just bought when I got to the league," Jefferson said.
"Doing that and just staying on top of things, and just making sure I'm on top of my game. And like you said, just my work ethic. My dad taught me that at a young age, that's just what he instilled in me, so I just keep it going."
This season, Jefferson is third on the team's roster in total yardage and third in touchdown catches. The likely Pro Bowl receiver Cooper Kupp (809 yards, 9 touchdowns) and longtime Rams stalwart Robert Woods (423 yards, 3 touchdowns) lead the team.
"He's just continuing to progress, and that's what you want," Stafford said of his rising receiver. "You just want to see a guy with drive and with the right attitude. He just comes in here every single day working his tail off, trying to get better, and it's producing on the field."
Jefferson is one of two former Brentwood-area players with the Rams, with All-Pro cornerback and former Brentwood Academy cornerback Jalen Ramsey also on the team.
For the RHS grad, growth is a marathon, not a sprint. The NFC looks treacherous with the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys all looking like realistic contenders for its crown.
Van's father, Shawn Jefferson, is interestingly enough, a division opponent of his son with the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals as that team's wide receivers coach.
The Rams will need Van to continue to help their offense be one of the most feared in the NFL.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time," Jefferson said. "I'm just perfecting my craft and being the best player I can be, learning from the older guys, and just gaining the trust of my coaches and Matt. That's what I try to do every day, just come in and be the best I can be, and everything else will take care of itself."
Titans fans will get a chance to see the former Ravenwood star when Tennessee travels to play the Rams on Nov. 7.
Los Angeles will play the fledgling Houston Texans this Sunday.