NEVILLE, La. — The nation’s No. 5 defensive tackle was between LSU and Ohio State for months, and it wasn’t until late on Thursday night that Rashard Lawrence realized he needed to be at LSU.
So, what swayed Lawrence to choose the Tigers?
After doing some comprehensive research of both LSU’s and Ohio State’s rosters and depth charts, Lawrence realized that the Tigers had the superior talent coming back — enough to win a national championship.
“With the guys coming back, we can do something real big,” Lawrence told SEC Country. “Winning a national championship is pretty good, but to do it in front of your home that — that’s pretty special. … Next year and for a few years coming up, we have a chance to be special.”
The 6-foot-3, 305-pound five-star recruit said LSU and Ohio State were 50-50 throughout the process.
“It came down to the little things,” Lawrence explained.
One of those little things was the addition of new LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
Some tried to tell Lawrence that Aranda would change LSU to a 3-4 defense and he would be forced to play a different position that he’s accustomed to.
That simply wasn’t the case.
“He’s like a mad scientist,” Lawrence said of Aranda, “in a good way. He’s a great coach. A lot of people said negative things about the 3-4, but I watched the film and he didn’t have many dominant defensive linemen. He showed me what he’s doing at LSU, and it’s going to be pretty special.”
Lawrence shares the same point of view as many of the current LSU commits that support the hire of Aranda.
However, those prospects were already LSU pledges. Lawrence credits Aranda’s hire as a turning point in his recruitment.
“For the longest time, people thought it was just LSU and Alabama, but it was always 50-50,” Lawrence explained. “Coach Aranda helped swing it and bring it to LSU.”