By Marty Simpkins
WAKE FOREST — Wake Forest High School graduate Dexter Lawrence can now call himself a college football national champion after the Clemson University Tigers defeated Alabama 35-31 Monday to win their first national championship since 1981.
Lawrence is a freshman defensive lineman at Clemson. In the national championship game, he recorded four tackles as a starter. The victory capped off a great year for Lawrence in his first season playing college football.
Lawrence won the Atlantic Coastal Conference defensive freshman of the year award. The 6-foot-5 and 342-pound defensive lineman was fourth on the team with 54 tackles and second with 4.5 sacks. He also posted seven tackles for a loss and two blocked kicks.
Lawrence started on a defense that allowed only 18 points a game and posted three shutouts, including the 31-0 victory over Ohio State in the college football playoffs semifinal.
Lawrence graduated from Wake Forest High School last year and was a three-year starer on the varsity football team. Over three seasons, he garnered 204 tackles, 65 tackles for a loss, 28 sacks and six forced fumbles. He also recovered three fumbles, blocked five field goals and caught one interception.