A lot of people who describe Dexter Lawrence describe him as a big teddy bear.
At 6-foot-5, 340 pounds he is one of the biggest specimen in college football. Opposing offensive linemen, running backs and quarterbacks fear him, and for good reason. He is one of the best players in the country as he uses his athletic quickness and then his strength to get around and through blockers on his way to the ball carrier or the quarterback.
However off the field Lawrence is laid back. He likes to have fun. He is quiet. He hangs out with his friends on the defensive line—Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant—and cuts up and acts goofy. He is even relaxed with the media and always seems to be laughing and smiling.
But, don’t let any of that fool you. When he needs to be serious, he can be as serious and as focused as anyone.
“He is a little goofy at times, but he is one of the most mature young people we have ever had on our team,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He is very solid. He has a solid foundation. He is a great student. He is a very focused and a very simple guy.”
If all goes well in his junior season, many expect Lawrence to be one of the top picks in next year’s NFL Draft. He has been as high as No. 1 in some early mock drafts and as low as No. 10 overall. Regardless, everyone seems to like him.
“He is well aware of all that stuff out there, but he just wants to go play well,” Swinney said. “He wants to go and be who he knows he can be. If he has an opportunity to have those conversations, then that means he had a great year. That would be great. That would be awesome.”
And if that opportunity comes, Lawrence will be ready for it.
“He will not flinch when it comes to that stuff,” Swinney said. “You are talking about a kid who started as a true freshman at Auburn. I still remember that sack he made at Auburn. He is going that way at 340 pounds and the quarterback goes the other way and he changes direction and makes an unbelievable play.
“He is built for what he does mentally and physically.”
In other words, Lawrence was built to play in the NFL, whether he is goofy or not.
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