The choice for the SEC freshman of the week after Week 6 was an easy call to make after watching Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson look like the best player on the field in the Tigers’ win over Ole Miss.
Lawson came to Auburn as a five-star recruit and ranked as high as the No. 2 recruit in the nation by ESPN. This game actually featured the top two recruits in the nation by ESPN’s rankings with fellow defensive end Robert Nkemdiche on the Rebels, but it was Lawson who stole the show.
Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson tells Joel Erickson of Al.com:
“He’s really starting to feel more comfortable with his assignments,” Johnson said. “He’s able to play and turn himself loose. He’s always been physical and reckless.”
The 6-foot-3, 258-pound Alpharetta, GA native had six tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss and two big sacks of Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace in Auburn’s 30-22 win demonstrating the physicality and reckless ability against fellow five-star recruit in the class of 2013, Laremy Tunsil. The battles between Lawson and Tunsil should be fun to watch the next few years, but Lawson won the battle this time.
The first of Lawson’s two sacks came at the end of the first half with Ole Miss threatening to score, and his second sack came on fourth down and ended the hopes of a comeback for Hugh Freeze’s club.
Considering the hype that preceded his arrival on The Plains and the fact he piled up 27 sacks and 44 tackles-for-loss as a high school senior at Milton High School this won’t be the first time Lawson earns such an honor.
This is exactly the type of game that gives Lawson the confidence to unleash himself on opposing SEC quarterbacks, and more games like this past Saturday are in his near future. In a conference loaded with elite freshmen, it’s Lawson who may end up being the best.