September 21, 2011

Bulldogs still improving

One of Mississippi State's biggest question marks heading into the season was how would the Bulldogs replace the loss of three senior linebackers, two of which are now playing in the NFL.

Junior Cameron Lawrence has helped bridge that gap in the first three games making 24 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one sack and two pass deflections.

"I've been really pleased with him," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "You look at him, he started on special teams as a freshman, was on a lot of special teams as a sophomore, played a little bit on defense. He's played in the game before. He's made plays in the game before. That's the evolution of a player that you want to see. The great evolution is you get experience on special teams and then you become a great special teams player and rotator and then you become a solid starter and then you become a star. Fortunately for him, he's been able to go through that evolution, learn from guys in front of him that are really good players and you get to see the result of that on the field."

Lawrence is playing his fourth position since arriving in Starkville in the spring of 2009. The Coldwater, Miss., native began his Bulldog career at quarterback before moving to receiver and eventually swapping sides to safety and grew into a linebacker by his sophomore year.

"For him, I think you're seeing a guy that is becoming more comfortable playing the linebacker position," Lawrence said. "He's a guy that was a high school quarterback and played small academy football. His expertise at the linebacker position was not there, so I think you're seeing him now -- not just knowing what to do -- he's more comfortable with how to do it and why he's doing it. He's used to being a linebacker in there with all the traffic going on around him."

Mullen believes that Lawrence has the talent to be on par with his predecessors by the time his career is complete.

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