A team leader who commands respect from those around him, Lawson is back and hoping to be better than ever heading into 2016 and it’s something his teammates say brings out the best in them as well.
“He studies the game,” sophomore defensive end Jeff Holland said. “He's a student of the game. We watch film together, we work our hand moves. He studies the small things like the set of the tackles.
“I'm blessed to have a teammate like Carl,” he added. “He's like a mentor.”
Constantly working on his craft, Lawson can be seen walking through the athletic complex practicing his pass rush moves or working on his hands and doing it almost unconsciously. That’s just part of what has made him the player he is and he’s passing it along to his teammates.
“He wants to see us be great,” fellow defensive end Paul James III said. “He’s a student of the game and he wants us to be a student of the game also. Everything, whether it’s watching film or going over this or that, he takes us with them. We’re joined like a chain.”
Carl Lawson is a redshirt junior for the Tigers.
It’s not just on defense where Lawson’s impact is felt, however. With two new offensive tackles this season it has been a test at practice for Austin Golson and Robert Leff having Lawson lined up in front of them. Forcing them to be ready on every snap has undoubtedly made the pair better, something Leff noted goes without saying.
“You can focus on one thing at a time every day, but one little technique will let you down, especially going up against somebody like Carl Lawson everyday,” Leff said. “One little thing and he will have you beat. I’ll fix something one day and first play I get fixed he beats me with something else. It’s a challenge, but I’m grateful to be working with him.”