Dexter Lawrence arrived at Clemson a year ago with a whole lot of expectations to go along with a big body to anchor the middle of an already fearsome Tigers defensive line.
Well, mission accomplished and recognition gained. The big-bodied defensive tackle was voted as the No. 15 player in college football by NFL.com after just one year of playing at the college level.
“Lawrence was the most dominant freshman in college football last year,” analyst Chase Goodbread said. “Most defensive tackles are good at holding their ground against double teams, or penetrating to make plays, but not both. Lawrence does both consistently well.”
The 6-foot-5, 340-pound Lawrence received one vote putting him in the Top 2 players in college football, while receiving Top 25 votes from four of seven analysts.
Lawrence made 79 tackles with seven sacks, while recording 23 quarterback hurries.
“Establishes a tone for the defending national champs with his size and stoutness inside,” analyst Charles Davis said. “Also, shows tremendous agility and pass-rush skills (7 sacks). He was just a freshman last season.”
Lawrence made it three straight ACC players in the voting for the Top 25, following NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden as the Nos. 17 and 16 players, respectively.