Laws Excited to See First Action For Irish

Sophomore defensive lineman Trevor Laws is a little more than a week away from his goal. The 6-0, 285-pound nose guard has had a hard time waiting patiently for his chance to play. The always gregarious Laws will get his chance next Saturday and he can barely contain his excitement.

Trevor Laws reported to Notre Dame with a ton of accolades. The former first-team USA Today All-American has been slated by many as the next great interior defensive lineman for the Irish. The super sophomore appears to be living up to his potential as he'll see the field as a true sophomore in Notre Dame's first game on September 4th against BYU.

"It's going good," said Laws who red-shirted last season. "It's nice getting into the BYU stuff. Camp is over with now so it's all BYU right now. It gets me excited to play."

Laws has been battling junior Derek Landri for the starting nose guard position this fall. The rumor that Laws has overtaken Landri as the starter at the nose position appears to be false, but Laws says he's expected to play quite a bit this fall.

"I think Derek is first string right now, but coach (Mattison) says it's more like 1A and 1B because we're going to be rotating equally," Laws said. "I'm just excited to get to play."

Knowing he'll be playing soon has given Laws that little extra motivation to become the best player he can be.

"It makes you work harder because you know you're going to be out there in front of all those people soon," Laws said.

"I don't want to embarrass myself," Laws said laughingly. "It's coming to me slowly but surely—I'll get there."

The Burnsville, Minn. native has always been an engaging personality, but Laws was extra animated in our Wednesday conversation. One can tell he's chomping at the bit for the season to get started.

"I'm sure I'll be nervous, but that only makes you play better—gets that adrenalin flowing," said Laws when asked what he'll feel like when he steps out on the field for the Irish for the first time.

"It's going to be awesome. I go out there at practice every day working hard, waiting for that first day I step on the field when I know I'm going to play. It's going to be awesome to hear those fans. It's what I've been working for for the last two years.

"I'm sure I'll be pretty jacked up. I just hope I remember what I'm supposed to do."

There has been some question about the interior defensive line and the inexperience of both Laws and Landri inside. Laws says he doesn't think that should be a concern this year.

"We're playing well," Laws said when asked how the defensive line has been holding up against the Irish offensive line this fall. "We've been moving a lot more along the defensive line because we have so many quick guys up front. I think it's going to be a pretty exciting defense this year. We've got a lot of playmakers on defense."

What both Laws and Landri lack in experience, they should make up for in quickness. That extra burst is something the Irish coaches plan on using to their advantage this year.

"Quickness is everything," Laws said of playing defensive line. "Instead of just being a hole-plugger, we move a lot. We try to penetrate the O-line and use our quickness to blow up plays. We use a lot of stunts and being quick is a big part of our defense."

The former Minnesota Gatorade player of the year says learning the proper technique has been the biggest hurdle for him to clear before seeing the field. That hurdle appears to be in the rearview mirror for Laws as he'll see a lot of time in 2004.

"The technique is probably the hardest part," Laws said. "Coach wants us to play with perfect technique. In high school, you could just throw guys around. Here, you have to play with perfect technique and stay low. Sometimes you just want to get after it and you lose your leverage."

The one thing Laws gets really excited about is the top teams on the Irish schedule. The former state champion wrestler says the schedule Notre Dame plays is one of the reasons he chose Notre Dame.

"This is why you come to Notre Dame, to play in the big games," Laws said. "We've got a lot of big games this year. I think we're going to have a great season. You want to play against the top teams."

Trevor Laws has always been one of the more quotable players on the Irish roster, but we think we're going to be writing a lot about what he does on the field in the future. We wouldn't be surprised if Laws does end up becoming the next great interior defensive lineman at Notre Dame—he's well on his way, playing as a true sophomore.


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