HOOVER, Ala. — After four sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss last season as a true freshman at Auburn, defensive end Carl Lawson’s name was splattered around many Freshman All-American lists. Heading into the 2014 season, he was named to even more preseason lists that predict future accolades.
Monday, at Day 1 of SEC Media Days, head coach Gus Malzahn announced that Lawson had surgery to repair his ACL.
"He injured his knee the last week of spring practice," said Malzahn. "Dr. Andrews looked at it, wanted to wait a couple weeks ’till the swelling went down to be sure. He confirmed he needed surgery. It was successful."
Malzahn praised Lawson’s work ethic and training regimen, and said the sophomore might be back by the end of the 2014 football season. Defensive lineman Gabe Wright echoed the hopeful timetable for Lawson, and shared what makes him such a valued piece to the Auburn defense.
"The best part about Carl, or the best thing he can do with an injury you can’t prepare for (is be in top condition), said Wright. "Carl’s body was in excellent shape. He bragged, his leg muscles, his quad muscle was so strong, he’s not losing anything. Carl is a hard worker, I know he’ll bounce back pretty quick.
"He’s a freak athlete. I believe he’s a phenom. He’s a guy that can really be three-and-done, honestly."
Lawson played in 14 games last season during the Tigers’ run at a national title, but he didn’t start any. He still was a force during his limited reps. His presence as a playmaker in 2014 will be missed, as long as he’s unable to take the field.