Reviewing Georgia State’s list of impact players: No. 9 Shawayne Lawrence

Shawayne Lawrence in action against Air Force. (AP)

Shawayne Lawrence in action against Air Force. (AP)

Before the season I listed the 10 players who I thought would most impact Georgia State’s football season.

Over the next 10 days, I’ll review the list and detail how each player performed in the 1-11, 0-8 in the Sun Belt campaign.

As they were listed, we will count down from 10 to 1.

We started with No. 10 Matt Hubbard.

We move on to….

No. 9 Shawayne Lawrence.

Here’s what I wrote:

How can Lawrence make a difference? How can he not? He is athletic, strong and has decent speed. As I wrote with Hubbard, I believe defense will carry this team’s chances of victory and Lawrence could be one of the catalysts.

Best-case scenario: Lawrence posts five sacks and 40 tackles, which would be perhaps optimistic natural progressions over his first-year totals. Against Troy last year, he had a sack, a pass breakup and two tackles for loss. That shows his potential.

I think the coaches would take the same stats as last year if as part of that production the linebackers are making game-changing plays.

Worst-case scenario: Lawrence’s stats are the same as last year and, because it is a worst-case scenario, he’s not occupying blockers. As a result, opponents are able to run the ball too easily, which opens up the passing game and puts Georgia State’s defense in bad situations.

So, was it the best-case scenario or worst-case scenario?

The worst-case scenario.

Lawrence finished with 49 tackles (solo and assists) with just 2 ½ tackles for loss and no sacks. While his tackle numbers almost doubled from his freshman year when he had 25, he did have one sack that year. Few on the line occupied blockers and opponents averaged a whopping 6.3 yards per rush.

View Comments 0