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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jerrell Lawson, DB, UT-Chattanooga

Jerrell Lawson NFL
Jerrell Lawson is a team leader and a very versatile player for Chattanooga’s defense. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Jerrell Lawson
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Position: DB
  • College: UT-Chattanooga
  • Twitter: @WakeEmUpLaww
  • Instagram: rell_laww

What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

While in undergrad, I majored in Business Management, receiving my Bachelor’s in just 3 years. At the moment, I am in Graduate School, obtaining my MBA (Masters in Business Administration), with a concentration in finance. I expect to graduate this upcoming spring! I also participated in FCA (fellowship of Christian Athletes) while also being inducted into numerous Business Fraternities, and being a captain/ambassador who got the opportunity to speak at several events representing our school. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My teammates would probably say that my best quality is my versatility and my knowledge of the game. I am a player who has played all over the field, making starts at the safety position, nickel, and even linebacker. I am also a person who has seen a lot, playing for 3 different defensive coordinators, I understand the psychological standpoint of processing information and learning/adjusting to new systems while still trying to find success.  

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

My role on the team could probably be seen sometimes as the enforcer. Someone who is going to lead by example and not get caught up into all the antics or politics that come with the game. A front-line guy, never afraid but simply going to do his job while also having fun and laughing with teammates. My favorite scheme would probably be the Cov 3, match/carry/deliver concept. Whether it’s sideline to sideline middle of field safety or rotating down covering the slots. I enjoy being able to make plays out in space, covering the flats, or close to the line of scrimmage, setting the edge of the defense. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

I would probably say the best player I have played against in college would be Deebo Samuel or Roc Thomas. Both guys have tremendous quickness and balance, having the ability to play running back or receiver with definite “take it to the house” type speed! 

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Camiron Smith. He’s a guy who is a year or two below me, but came in from Texas with a different mindset. Also technically sound, but also a natural like myself who believes in getting back to the basics; and that is training and outworking your opponent. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

I would say the death of my great-grandmother who I lost in 9th grade. She was the backbone and matriarch of our entire family. She was like a best friend. I was her favorite lol, and losing her helped me to realize that life is not forever and that I need to get out and make a positive impact with myself and for my people. Coming out of South Alabama, you don’t see that much success right in front of you or have good examples/leaders to show you how it’s done too often. So for me, I have always faced struggles of choosing friends, or when to (or not) go out and hang at certain places. However, I can say that it has definitely made me who I am and drove my motivation to become someone successful. Someone who kids could look up to, knowing that it is very possible to attain the levels of achievement I have, because it could easily have been the other way around.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

I would definitely be playing baseball. I’m sure that a lot of people who know me on a personal level would say so, as well. Baseball was always my favorite sport and I was a very good hitter and middle infielder, playing year-around until about the 9th grade when I started to take high school football seriously.  

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

I am most proud to see my younger nephews and cousins getting out of my small hometown and doing something with themselves. A lot of them have joined all the different branches of the military while a few are still in school. Without a doubt, my biggest achievement would be earning a 4-year scholarship, graduating from college, and I am excited to be earning my MBA spring 2021. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

One of the most memorable plays of my collegiate career would have to be my interception against Tennessee. Even though it did not count because of a late roughing the passer call, I can remember doing everything right in order to be in a position to make that play against a well-known team. I was in cover 4, and the offense was doing play action. I can remember freezing for a half-second while figuring if I needed to run support. After seeing it was a pass play with no WR threats coming from my side (the boundary/short side of the field), I proceeded to shoot for the middle of the field to help my field-side safety. In the act, I saw the receiver from the field side sneak out late and proceed to cross the field. I then speed turning back from the middle of the field to nail down on the late receiver coming across. I was right there ready to make a play on the receiver. Ball tipped! Interception! 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

I really don’t have a favorite NFL team. I like to support certain players. As far as just pure greats, I keep up Lebron James! Not only is he the GOAT on the court, but off the court as well.  I don’t think I model my game after anyone because I feel that my style of play is not that common. Isaiah Simmons (Cardinals) is about the closest with his versatility. However I enjoy watching Eddie Jackson, Kam Chancellor, and the Honey Badger.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?

My favorite music artist is Kodak. However my pregame playlist is filled with lots of variety, featuring artists like Meek Mill, Lil Baby, or MH soulja. 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Really any food, but my mother’s spaghetti or collard greens are for sure undefeated dishes! 

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

My favorite movie is Black Panther

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

When I am not doing school or anything dealing with football, I usually just chill. I enjoy taking advantage of my down time by resting, chilling with friends, watching movies, or just simply laughing.

Who or what motivates you the most?

Family

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