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2016 National Signing Day: Why Dexter Lawrence Is Critical to Clemson's Success

Student Sports

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Now that National Signing Day is all but over, we get a chance to catch our breaths. While we were all disappointed to miss out on Rashan Gary, Clemson still put together one of the best classes in school history.

Highlighting that class is a certain player we have all fallen in love with, Dexter Lawrence. We've waxed poetic about just how much potential he has, but it is more than just his output, it is what his output can do for this team. He is the player we may be most excited about. Even if he isn't an offensive or defensive skill player, Lawrence is pretty amazing to watch.

Clemson has had a history of talented defensive lineman. Shaq Lawson, Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett are just a few of the most recent. All of them created havoc in the backfield for Clemson. All of them took full advantage of Brent Venables' desire to have an agressive defense. These guys turned their success into the chance to play professionally, and helped propel Clemson to the playoff.

Lawrence can be in that same mold. For someone with so much weight, he is extremely athletic. He's athletic enough that he lined up as a DE in high school. Imagine if we need to slide him along the line to take advantage of a mismatch on the edge. Even without that he can be that rock in the middle of the line. The type of player that helps us beat Georgia Tech, in Atlanta no less. Nose tackle type of players may be the rarest thing to find in college football and Lawrence is pretty close to ready.

But perhaps more importantly, Lawrence presence helps everyone else. He takes up two offensive lineman and all of sudden the LBs are free to attack the gaps, the DEs have one man to beat on the outside, even his partner at DT has it easier while trying to get to the QB. Lawrence may not be an explosive guy that gets to the QB, but he's going to let everyone else get to the QB much easier.

Get excited Clemson fans, Lawrence may only be here for 3 years, and it is going to be an explosive time on Clemson's DL while he is here. This has been your annual dose of orange-tinted glasses.