I know a lot of people who are critical of scouting hate when the words special or elite get thrown around when describing players. I really don’t care what they think though.
Rashard Lawrence is elite. He is a special prospect. He has the talent to be an immediate difference maker at the college level and that’s extremely rare. So in this case, elite and special fit him and fit him well.
Lawrence has exceptional quickness for a big man. He can really move well for a player his size. Physically he is a guy who could plug into a college defensive line right now and no one would know that he should still be in high school
Lawrence is so much more than a space eater in the middle of a defense. He’s a disruptive presence that consistently gets penetration into the backfield. He does so with power combined with a great first step. That first step allows him to attack the edge of an offensive lineman and they have no chance of blocking him if he is quick off the ball. He makes a lot of plays in the backfield.
He shows great strength at the point of attack and can hold up against the the double team. He has strong hands that help him disengage and pursue to the ball, but the one thing he really needs to establish more consistently is a better punch to go with his power step. If he can do that, he’ll control offensive linemen even more than he does now. He will also sometimes let his pad level get a bit too high as well, but does a solid job of readjusting and fighting to get back leverage.
I love watching his pursuit to the football. A lot of other players his size use the ball being run away from them as an excuse to take a play off, but Lawrence doesn’t do that. It’s great to see a big man like him chase down ball carriers and get involved in the tackle.
He can improve his hand usage when pass rushing, but is great rushing half the man along with ripping and running. His speed and power just overwhelm a lot of centers when he does this and they can’t hang with him. He will force a lot of double teams inside on passing downs.
Lawrence is a true nose guard that can play the zero or the one technique in just about any scheme. He’s even athletic enough to be kicked out a bit wider, but the nose is his best fit.
Lawrence has the talent to be a plug and play prospect from day one in college and his role will only increase the longer he is on campus. He can be a difference maker for the interior of a defense and has All-American potential.
|Recruiting Site||Position||Position Rank||Stars|
Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).