It didn't take long for Dexter Lawrence to establish himself as one of college football's top players. He more than lived up to the hype that accompanied him to Clemson last season as a five-star recruit.
The 6-foot-5, 340-pounder (school measurements) was the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and posted rare production for an interior defensive lineman while helping the Tigers to a national title: 79 tackles, seven sacks, and 23 quarterback pressures.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Lawrence received votes from four of seven CFB 24/7 experts, including one top-two vote. He's one of two Clemson players in the #CFBTop25 countdown. A Tigers D-lineman is ranked ahead of him in the countdown, which speaks to the talent the team has up front.
What some of our analysts are saying about Lawrence
"Lawrence has incredible quickness and athleticism for an interior defender. His upside is limitless." -- Daniel Jeremiah
"Establishes a tone for the defending national champs with his size and stoutness inside. Also, shows tremendous agility and pass-rush skills (7 sacks). He was just a freshman last season." -- Charles Davis
"This tall, bullish tackle proved in his first year on campus that the recruiting hype was deserved. He'll anchor Clemson's line as the Tigers try to repeat as champions." -- Chad Reuter
"Lawrence was the most dominant freshman in college football last year. Most defensive tackles are good at holding their ground against double teams, or penetrating to make plays, but not both. Lawrence does both consistently well." -- Chase Goodbread
Where do fans rank Lawrence?
We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Lawrence received enough support to finish 12th in the fan voting. He had the most fan support among defensive linemen, and only one defensive player finished ahead of him in the fan vote. With at least two college seasons ahead of him, Lawrence could find himself near, or at, the top of these rankings a year from now.