Clemson’s defensive line prides itself in being one of the hardest working groups in the country.
Its tenacious determination certainly shows up on the stat sheet. The Tigers are third nationally in sacks per game with 3.4 and ninth in tackles-for-loss per game with nine.
Entering the College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama the Clemson defense needs to be on its A-game.
Sophomore defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, a driving force on the unit, believes Clemson’s success is not merely related to personnel or talent but runs deeper than surface level.
Lawrence, a freshman All-American last season, is having another standout season in 2017 receiving first team All-ACC honors for the second consecutive season.
Despite missing a couple weeks with a bum foot Lawrence combined for 37 tackles on the season including 2.5 sacks and three tackles-for-loss.
The sophomore defensive tackle believes the whole defensive line is better than the sum of its parts because of the chemistry in the unit.
“We make each other better, even in practice competing to get to the quarterback” said Lawrence. “It’s competitive and it’s tough love and that’s what we love.”
Unity is not merely an on-field concept for the Tiger defensive line and the unit frequently spends time together of the field whether eating a meal together or going to the movies.
While the unit loves to have fun on and off of the field they know when it is time to get serious and get to work.
“You want to have fun you can’t be mad and serious all the time, I learned that growing up” he said. “Between the lines you have to be dominant you have fun too but you get angry for no reason and go kill it” said Lawrence.
Lawrence and the Clemson defensive line are ready to flip the switch and get their shot at the Crimson Tide on New Year’s Day in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.