Hargrave coach thinks Lawson can make immediate impact

by - Senior Writer -

Shaq Lawson’s head coach at Hargrave Military Academy thinks that Lawson can have an immediate impact on the field this fall.

Lawson, a Daniel High product and 2012 Clemson signee, arrived on Clemson’s campus back in the fall and had hoped to contribute along Clemson’s defensive line this season, but the NCAA Clearinghouse decided after the start of fall practice that an online summer course didn’t meet their standards, and Lawson was off the Hargrave Military Academy for the fall semester.

Lawson was understandably disappointed according to Hargrave head coach Troy Davis, but overcame that disappointment and turned into a prime contributor on the Hargrave defense.

“I can tell you that when he first came in, it was a big adjustment for him,” Davis told TigerNet this past weekend. “But I think he saw this was best for him, and you saw his attention to detail getting better and better, and he recognized this might be good for him. He came in and got the structure and the discipline in playing competitive football. He actually wound up helping with the other kids and let them know what to expect in college football and I really appreciate that from him.”

Davis said that he saw tremendous growth out of Lawson as a player as well.

“As a player, I saw out of him that he is going to be a big-time player,” Davis said. “He has a lot of upside. You can see the quickness he has to the ball, and a great first step. When he first got here, we talked about moving him inside to tackle. At first, he was a little reluctant but then he bought into it. He knew he could be really quick off double team and get into the backfield and he bought into it.”

As a result, Lawson played both inside and outside on the defensive line at Hargrave and turned in 12 sacks.

“I told him to keep adding weight and he might be a possibility inside in college,” Davis said. “He didn’t have a negative response to that. I played him back and forth – inside and outside – and he really did an outstanding job. He was the best player on the team from a leadership standpoint and he made the other players step up their game.”

Lawson played the “3 technique” and played well against both the run and the pass.

“He did very well in that spot,” Davis said. “He was just so quick in defeating the double teams, and he was very effective for us on the inside. He can be a run stopper and he can rush the passer with his quickness and penetration. He allowed me to use other athletes around him just because of his athletic ability.”

Lawson is already on campus and will begin working out with his new Clemson teammates in a few weeks and will participate in spring practice and Davis thinks that Lawson can contribute right away.

I can definitely see that,” he said. “It’s possible the playbook might slow him down and he might have a learning curve, but he can be an effective third down rusher right off the bat and he can definitely help out there.”

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