Lawson is the fourth Clemson player to be named a finalist for the award, the third since Dabo Swinney became head coach in 2009. Da’Quan Bowers was a finalist in 2010 and Vic Beasley was a finalist last year. William Perry was the first Lombardi Award finalist from Clemson in 1984. No Clemson player has won the award.
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.
Lawson played behind Beasley last year when the current Atlanta Falcons standout was a finalist for the Lombardi Award. The winner of the award will be announced in Houston on December 9.