The Clemson junior was one of five finalists announced Thursday morning by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, who presents the award annually to the nation’s top defensive player. The other finalists are Jeremy Cash of Duke, Tyler Matakevich of Temple, Carl Nassib of Penn State, and Reggie Ragland of Alabama.
Lawson is the third Clemson player to be named a finalist for the award, joining Gaines Adams in 2006 and Da’Quan Bowers in 2010. Bowers won the trophy in 2010, his junior season.
Lawson has 62 tackles this year, including 17.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 of which are sacks. He has had at least one tackle for loss in each game and is sixth in the nation in tackles for loss. The junior from Central, S.C., and Daniel High School had a season-high 3.5 tackles for loss against Notre Dame on October 3, a game the Tigers won 24-22.
This is the second major national award Lawson has been named a finalist for this week. On Tuesday, he was announced as one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award. The winner of the award will be announced in Charlotte on Monday, December 7 at The Westin Hotel.