6 national ranking by the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
Lawson has 39 tackles for this season, including 11.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 of which are sacks. He had 3.5 tackles for loss in the first quarter of Clemson’s win over Notre Dame and finished the game with nine tackles. He has at least one tackle for loss in every game so far this year.
ESPN.com also named Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables as the No. 1 coordinator “On the Rise”. Venables defense ranks 10th in the nation in total defense despite having to replace eight starters from last years team that led the nation in total defense.
The website also listed offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt as the No. 2 freshman in the nation among offensive players, ranked tight end Jordan Leggett as the No. 4 tight end for the John Mackey Award, and ranked MacKensie Alexander as the No. 5 candidate for the Thorpe Award.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson was listed as the No. 2 Comeback Player of the Year. Watson sustained a broken finger and a torn ACL as a freshman and has come back to complete 68 percent of his passes for 235 yards per game.
The website also listed Clemson’s 24-22 victory over Notre Dame as the No. 5 finish to a college game in 2015. The Tigers stopped the Irish on a two-point conversion attempt with just seven seconds remaining after Notre Dame had come back from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter.