SDS has already looked at the top 25 players for 2012, and now with National Signing Day in the books, let’s look at the top newcomers in the SEC for 2013. Predicting the top newcomers is often very tough, and these aren’t just merely rankings of the top players. We’re going to look at what type of impact they’ll make and where they’ll make it.
No. 22 – Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
From: Alpharetta, GA (Milton)
Size: 6-3, 245-pounds, 4.7 40
The Skinny: Carl Lawson is a name all Auburn fans are familiar with. After all, some throughout the recruiting industry said Lawson, not Robert Nkemdiche, was the best high school prospect they witnessed all year. And it’s always refreshing to see a 17- or 18-year-old young man not pull any hat tricks on signing day but instead goes on about his business trying to keep a low profile. That’s Carl Lawson; and that’s the way he handled his recruitment. He didn’t call a press conference or have any TV theatrics. Lawson called Auburn and finalized his commitment.
Lawson had been committed to Auburn since late March, but two teams in Tennessee and Clemson entered the picture only after Gene Chizik was canned and Gus Malzahn was hired.
What Auburn is getting: Lawson is a high-intensity player with a big motor who has tremendous quickness off the ball. He racked up 82 tackles as a senior, including 36 for a loss and 26.5 (26.5!) sacks. That’s unheard of, and Lawson will enter Auburn this summer expecting to make an impact in 2013. While he’s a good player, he’s an even better leader who makes the players around him better.
Where he’ll make an impact: Lawson could see immediate playing time at defensive end, the position vacated by Corey Lemonier, who left a year early for the NFL Draft. Lawson will battle for playing time with Dee Ford, Nosa Eguae and LaDarius Owens. Ellis Johnson has a rebuilding project with the entire defense, but he has a cornerstone player in Lawson to build around. The freshmen trio of Lawson, Montravius Adams and Elijah Daniel (assuming Daniel makes the grades) will be a force to watch in the future. Johnson helped develop Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina, and now he has a prize end in Carl Lawson to make his protégé.
Other impact newcomers:
Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports