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Once ‘a biscuit short of 350,’ Lawrence worked hard to get in shape

Dexter Lawrence was a little surprised when he heard Christian Wilkins talked to the media about his first meal at Clemson – a four-omelet breakfast last summer.

“He remembered that,” Lawrence asked with a chuckle after Thursday’s practice.

“I did. I don’t know. You know?! It was free. So I said, ‘why not?!’”

Lawrence just isn’t a fan of omelets. Not surprisingly, at 6-foot-5, 337 pounds, he is a fan of all foods. And that is what made this past summer so difficult for the rising sophomore on Clemson’s defensive line.

After the spring, Lawrence had to have a screw placed in his toe. It was just a minor surgery, but it was a setback nonetheless and it forced him to sit out the Tigers’ first part of the skills-and-drills competition this summer.

So Lawrence, knowing what it meant down the road, took advantage of the opportunity and ate all the ice cream he wanted – his favorite of all foods.

“I tore it,” he said, with a smile.

However, the down side, Lawrence ballooned to 355 pounds, the biggest he has been since he got to Clemson. When he was released for the summer conditioning program a few weeks later, Lawrence admitted he had a tough road in front of him to get to his goal of 335 pounds.

“It was hard,” he said. “I could not have (the food) I wanted, just put it like that. I’m an ice cream man. I could not eat any ice cream.”

However, Lawrence pushed through and worked hard to get back in shape once his rehab was complete.

“I was back quicker than I expected… It was not really a setback for me,” he said. “Obviously at first, I could not be out there with them, but after while I got back and started running with them again so it felt good.”

As he came down the stretch prior to the weigh-in, the Wake Forest, N.C., native was nervous and wondered if he would make his goal.

“He was a biscuit short of 350,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney joked.

But as it turned out, Lawrence was nowhere near 350. He weighed in at 337. Though it was two pounds short of his own-personal goal, it was still three pounds under 340, which is what the Clemson coaches wanted to see.

“There was a lot of anticipation for my weigh-in,” Lawrence said while kidding around with the media. “There was no telling how much I was going to weigh. I did not weigh in the last couple of days (prior to the weigh-in) just to see.

“I was expecting like 345, but 337 is really great. I feel good out here running around with the guys.”

And now Lawrence can have ice cream again. Even if it is just a little bit.

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