Auburn, Ala.--A player that has been called one of the most athletic by his Auburn teammates, junior defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence has come a long way since walking on at Georgia Military College three years ago. Earning a spot with the Bulldogs before signing with the Tigers in 2014, Lawrence is a player Coach Rodney Garner is counting on to provide a push on the defensive line this season.
"I'm very excited about it," Lawrence said of his expected role. "Just trying to keep making strides every day to make sure I earn my reps because we have to earn our reps. They preach that. You earn your reps. Nothing is given. It feels good just trying to stay in that rotation."
Playing a big part on defense would be a big step up for Lawrence after he saw very little action a season ago as a redshirt sophomore. Sitting out his first season at GMCC before playing one year alongside DaVonte Lambert, Lawrence got a rude awakening last year. Because of his lack of experience it was a year of learning the finer points of the game, something he said he feels much better about heading into the new year.
Now it's just a matter of stepping up his game on a consistent basis. That's something Garner has been preaching to Lawrence on a daily basis since he arrived on the Plains. While he admits he's still got work to do the big lineman said that drive he gets from Garner is something that keeps him focused on the task at hand.
"I've still got to keep making strides toward that," Lawrence said of greatness. "That mental toughness is when I get tired, I've just got to learn to push myself. Like we always talk about, I have to push myself. He always says push yourself, Devaroe. Push yourself. That's what I've got to do. I've gotten a little bit better but I've still got a long ways to go."
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