By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Carl Lawson has the respect of his teammates and all the hype that comes with his potential. But what he doesn't have is the experience of playing in an Auburn A-Day Game.
That's expected to change Saturday when Lawson, who has been limited most springs by injuries, gets the call to action in the 3 p.m. game in Jordan-Hare Stadium that will be televised by the SEC Network.
"My first A-Day… I can't wait," Lawson said.
This is Lawson's third spring, yet his first spring game.
"I can't get one? But this year…"
Fellow defensive end Montravius Adams says he's excited to play A-Day, and a full season, with Lawson. "I just think you're going to see who Carl Lawson is, which is a great player, pass-rusher and run-stopper. I just think you're going to see the complete package."
Much of the spring focus will be on the play of quarterbacks Sean White, Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III, who are in a battle for the starting job. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said Thursday he'll rotate the three equally with the first and second-team offenses.
The quarterbacks won't be subject to tackle football. They'll be wearing non-contact jerseys. But it'll be the real thing for everybody else, including a deep defensive line that is flanked by Lawson on one end and Adams on the other.
"There's a lot of great potential because when you have guys with a bunch of pass-rushing skill set," Lawson said. "You'll be able to execute games quickly and apply pressure on the quarterback, help in the secondary and get off the field on third down. Getting after the quarterback is what we want to do.
"We have a lot of bodies and we're getting some more. I'm happy, to be able to rotate and stay fresh like we did in 2013."
Adams said he and Lawson are trying to show the way.
"Carl's been doing well, and I've been doing well, but there's always room for improvement. Overall, I think we've been doing pretty well at trying to be leaders," Adams said.
Here are the rules for Saturday's game: The offense will wear blue and the defense will be in white, just as they are in every practice. The Blue and the White teams on the scoreboard are different. Sometimes the offense will be designated as the Blue team. Sometimes it will be the White team. And all the quarterbacks will likely play for both the Blue and the White. There won't be live special teams. The ball will be placed at designated spots after kicks.
Whew. But the score isn't as important as the effort.
Carl Lawson flashes by wearing No. 55 in this defensive drill...
Rodney Garner coaches up Auburn's defensive line. A video. From yesterday. pic.twitter.com/q8Ct5PgRhT
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) April 8, 2016
Lawson says the defensive line has shown progress, from the veterans to newcomer Marlon Davidson, a top recruit who arrived in January.
"He's come out there and every day has practiced like a pro… just keeps practicing consistently every day and works hard to get better," Lawson said. "Consistency in a young guy is really hard to find, and that's what he's been able to do.
"He takes coaching. When he gets hard, a lot of young guys that don't take it very well. He's been prepped for it."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine