"This is a great tone-setter for us," Lawson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "Nobody believes in us, the papers or anybody. This is a great team. We have so many D1 athletes and it's time to put it together. This team is a great team and to tell you the truth we have something much greater going on because I feel like we played horrible on defense.
"Even though the stats showed I had a good game with two sacks and a some tackles for losses, but I had nine sacks in my hand. I could have had nine and I just let him go. I need to work on my tackling. I just really want to keep working with my team so we can bring something to this community that hasn't been there for a while. This is not a winning culture, but our team is going to bring it here."
Bringing constant pressure from his defensive end position, Lawson struggled at times to get the elusive Dobbs on the ground. With close to 10 quarterback pressures in addition to his two sacks, Lawson said it was a frustrating night for him because he knows he can do much better.
"It was frustrating because I had him in my hand nine times," Lawson said. "It would have been nine sacks. I need to get myself better. I just really want to get myself better. People might say I had a good game, but I want to get my conditioning better."
It's that drive that has pushed Lawson from an unknown prospect last year into what he is now, a premier defensive end. Coaching Lawson for the second season and seeing the improvement his star player has made, coach Tony DeCristofaro said the future Auburn Tiger has a chance to be a special player because of his work ethic and will to succeed.
"I have been coaching, this is my 29th year," DeCristofaro said. "I coached a guy named Kenny Holmes (Miami) that played for the Titans and the Giants. I have coached several more Division I players at defensive end. He (Lawson) is the best player I have ever coached in my life because he's so competitive. When we did tug-o-war he would go against two guys. When we lift weights he does five more reps than anyone else. That's just the way it is and that's why he'll make it to the next level and he'll be phenomenal. He's got the it factor."
With his season underway and off to a great start, Lawson said he's happy to have his commitment to Auburn done so he can focus on his main goal of leading Milton to a state title. Enjoying watching his future teammates play and make strides under coordinator Brian VanGorder, Lawson said for him at the moment his main focus is on his team.
"It's great to start watching them because I can pick up traits from different players," Lawson said. "One thing I need to work on is my tackling. I love watching those guys play, but I'm trying to cherish what we've got a Milton. We're going to bring a winning culture here."