Lawrence Talks O-Line and D-Line

Mississippi State right offensive tackle Addison Lawrence, a fourth-year junior, has liked what he has seen from both the offensive line and the defensive line during the early going of preseason camp.

During the early preseason practices he has been impressed with the continuity the offensive line has carried over from the spring, although he has seen a little rust that needs to be fixed.

"I think, as a whole, we are picking up everything pretty much where we left off (in the spring) but you can tell we are a little bit rusty," said Lawrence. "We need to take care of that."

WIth a veteran group that has three players who have started alongside each other for the past two years and four who started together last season, this could be one of the strongest units on the entire team. And with a new and more aggressive style of defense thanks to new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, a veteran offensive line is a necessity for an offense with a new starting quarterback.

"I think with experience the game slows down a little bit and you aren't out there panicking," said Addison Lawrence. "And we are having to pick up blitzes that are as complicated as it gets."

And it's not just complicated blitzes that they are having to deal with. Mississippi State's defense may have one of the top three defensive lines in the SEC and one of the best in the nation with players such as Pernell McPhee, Fletcher Cox, Josh Boyd and James Carmon, all of whom have NFL potential. And, according to Lawrence, the freshmen D-linemen such as Kaleb Eulls, Curtis Virges and Corvell Harrison-Gay have been a handful as well.

"The defensive line is returning a lot of guys and they have stepped their game up a lot from last year," said Lawrence. "They are coming off the ball like never before and challenging the offensive line. They have the potential to be great. And they have brought in some freshmen who are really going to help us this year."

Another group of freshmen linemen have also impressed Lawrence thanks to their aggressive style of play - the freshmen offensive linemen.

"I am really surprised with a lot of our freshmen offensive linemen," said Lawrence, referring to true freshmen such as Dillon Day, Damien Robinson, Archie Muniz and Eric Lawson. "A lot of times they don't know exactly what they are (supposed to be) doing but they are physical and put their hands on guys."

The Bulldogs begin play on September 4th against Memphis. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the game being televised nationally on ESPNU.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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