"I just wanted to get my body the way I wanted," said Laws, who stated that he bench presses 430 pounds, squats 600 pounds and cleans 315 pounds. "I wanted to work on my quickness and my pass rush. I feel like I did that. I've seen improvement especially in my pass rush. That's what I focused on."
Laws is not the only one that focused on improving his pass rushing skills. It was the theme of the spring for a defense that for many reasons struggled to get to the quarterback a season ago. The Irish only brought down the opposing signal caller 31 times, seven of those coming against Stanford. His first year as a starter, Laws had just 1.5 sacks.
"We haven't always focused on pass rushing, and this spring it was our main focus," said Laws, who's 33 tackles ranked 10th on the team. "We've inserted a lot of new things."
Starting last season was a new thing for Laws. As a sophomore Laws was in the rotation but only got in for two plays here, two plays there. He had 17 tackles including his first career sack. Last year he was out there for whole drives.
"Having to go through eight-to-ten plays is a lot different than two plays here and there," Laws explained. "Just having to go hard every play was a little different Endurance is always a key factor. I definitely got tired last year. That is something d-lineman always have to battle."
Laws made an impact on special teams last season by blocking two field goals. He is again lining up on the interior line of the field goal block unit.
A blue-chip recruit out of Apple Valley High, Laws, a first team USA Today All-American sat out his freshman season with hamstring injuries. Even if he would have been healthy, Laws doubts he would have played.
"It was tough to sit out, but I knew I needed to," Laws said. "Darrell Campbell and Cedric Hilliard were so much bigger than me at the time. I needed a year to develop. I think I am on their level now, but I am always trying to improve."
Laws did a lot of work this spring trying to improve his hands and footwork. He is now excited to play Saturday's spring game and finally give a full go to what he has learned.
"It will be nice to play the spring game and test your skills out," he said.
The spring game will also be a place to show off that new physique.