Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence spoke to the media during media day in Clemson earlier this week as the Tigers get set to play Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff at the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas.
The Tigers are four quarters away from playing in the national championship game for the third time in four seasons.
Question: What is the excitement level preparing for a program like Notre Dame?
Lawrence: They have great skill guys, strong talented lines and we have to come ready to play. That’s why this time we have is so important to get our bodies and minds ready for the hardest four quarters we have played all year.
Question: What is this time like for the last run with your guys on the D-Line?
Lawrence: This is season is different, two of the four of us are gone for sure. We are soaking in every moment, not letting it go to waste and playing for the love of each other.
We don’t get a practice, day or game back. That’s been our attitude all year to accept the challenge each team brings and play for the love of each other.
Question: Is traveling for Christmas easier in year three?
Lawrence: I’d rather spend Christmas with my mom but it’s alright, we do a secret Santa every year and it feels just like Christmas.
There is something special here and it doesn’t’ matter who you are you’re family and that brings a lot of energy.
Question: Seeing yourself in the top ten on draft boards, what’s that like?
Lawrence: I don’t pay a lot of attention to that, it can change at any time. I wouldn’t be there without playing my best every Saturday.
I’m focused on myself and growing and playing my best to be the best version of me I can become. I don’t feed much into that hype I just do my best.
Question: A lot of Clemson D-Lineman have saved their best for last, what about the Power Rangers?
Lawrence: Each of us has had our games and now we want to bring it together and all of us to have our best game, that’s what we are shooting for right now. We want to be the most dominate up front we possibly can be.
We’re excited because we all know we haven’t been the best collectively together.
Question: What did you guys learn last year to make you better for the Playoff this year?
Lawrence: Our focus and intensity at practice has to be different. The difference in this year’s team is the maturity.
We have been really focused and it’s crazy because even our grades have gone up, it starts there and then you get it done on the field.