Florida State took less than a day to replace defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri, who left for the Oakland Raiders, with former Florida defensive line coach Brad Lawing. Lawing coached at South Carolina for a combined 17 years between his two stints there before leaving for the Florida Job in 2013. He has sent eleven defensive linemen to the NFL since 2010, and has had three linemen selected in the first round in the last three years. That number will likely jump to four in four when Dante Fowler Jr. is selected in the first ten picks of this year’s draft.
That’s something that the defensive ends at Florida State have taken notice of.
“Ever since 2011 he’s had a first round draft pick,” Demarcus Walker said. “I’m just going to learn as much as I can from him.”
Walker referred to Lawing as a pass rushing guru and said that he’s really helped him improve this offseason.
“My pass rush is getting better,” Walker said. “I’ve learned a lot with Sal, but I’m learning a lot more with Lawing. They coach two different styles so I have the best of both worlds.”
That’s desperately needed from a team that finished 114th in sacks last season with just 17 in 14 games. Under Lawing Florida was 37th with 30 in 2014. Walker finished the season with just one sack, but he says he’s already seeing improvement.
“Coach Lawing, man, that guy stays on me, but he knows what he’s talking about,” Walker said. “My performance is improving every day.”
If Florida State wants to have any success on defense this season the Seminoles will need to find a pass rush from the guys already on the roster or the guys they’re bringing in. One thing is certain though, coach Lawing is doing everything he can to make that happen.