Considered to be one of the stronger pass rushers in the 2016 NFL Draft, Shaq Lawson is setting lofty goals for himself in the professional ranks.
Clemson's rise during the 2015 season wouldn't have been possible without Shaq Lawson's contributions on the defensive side of a potent Tigers team.
Named a starter before the season, Lawson dominated during Clemson's run to the National Championship Game, as he totaled 12.5 sacks during the season including two against Alabama in the pinnacle game of the season.
Lawson decided to forego his senior season and entered the 2016 NFL Draft, where he's expected to be one of the first picks off the board in a drafted full of talent.
"[I] feel like I'll bring a great game with my pass rush," Lawson said at the NFL Combine in February. "Things that I did at Clemson.''
Before the 2015 season, Lawson was a situational pass rusher for Clemson, as he totaled 44 tackles (11 for loss) and 3.5 sacks as a sophomore despite just one start.
During his freshman year in 2013, Lawson was named a second-team freshman All-American by several different media outlets, thanks to his 35 tackles and four sacks.
Part of the consistency in his success was the fact that Lawson constantly studied his opponents, seeking out weaknesses that he could exploit.
"You should study your opponent, I study my opponent in and out," Lawson said. "This year, going against [Notre Dame tackle] Rodney Stanley, one of the best players I went against this year. He helped [me] be the better player I am today.''
According to his NFL.com profile, Lawson is "built like a tank with thickly muscled legs and a broad chest."
At 6-foot-2, 269 pounds, Lawson is not only strong physically, he believes he can fit in both 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.
Check out images of defensive end Shaq Lawson during his collegiate career at Clemson.
"I can play both," Lawson responded to a question referring to his ability to play outside linebacker and defensive end. "I played a lot standing up for Clemson this year and playing with hand in the dirt, so I can play both.''
And from both positions Lawson is confident there's no reason to be concerned about any sort of issues getting to NFL quarterbacks.
"I bring a lot of different moves to the pass rush," Lawson said. "People say I'm mostly a power guy, I don't see myself as just a power guy, I can spin, beat you off the edge, run past you, everything.''
While he'll just want to make a contribution early on in his career, Lawson has set high goals from himself as a professional.
"I would like to be the best player to ever play the game, hopefully be a Hall of Famer one day when I leave the league," Lawson said. "Just be the best I can be, that's all I can ask for, and get better and better every day.''