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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dexter Lawson Jr., CB, Central Connecticut State University

Central Connecticut State University's standout cornerback Dexter Lawson Jr.
Central Connecticut State University’s standout cornerback Dexter Lawson Jr. recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Dexter Lawson Jr.
  • Position: Cornerback
  • College: Central Connecticut State University
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Twitter: @DexLawsonJr
  • Instagram: @dexlawsonjr

What makes you a top prospect at your position  in the 2022 NFL Draft? 

I bring a different level of confidence to the game. I love when the pressure is on me and I feel like that’s when I am at my best. I’m a cornerback who is not only very technically sound in coverage but also a willing tackler. I take pride in perfecting my craft and doing my homework (film study, knowing my assignment, and practicing proper execution). I love being on that island matched up 1 on 1 and I also love to put fear into the QB by shutting a whole half of the field down.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

I played “Rumble Fumble” around my neighborhood since I was 5 years old but didn’t start playing organized tackle football until I was 7 years old. Football was like second nature to me and came easy as soon as I got the ball in my hands.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

NFL teams should know that I will never be outworked. I am an Alpha male who loves to dominate the opponents. I am an extreme competitor and will do whatever I have to do to win. I come from a winning background so I know what the expectations are to prepare to win and how to execute. Not only am I a competitor, I’m also a natural-born leader. I tend to lead by example but I have no problem voicing my opinion to get my team motivated and get the job done.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

If I could donate to one cause it would most likely be the fight against hate. This involves Black Lives Matter and Fight for Humanity. I would donate to this cause because these are circumstances that I am closely connected to. Being a black man in America and growing up in/right outside the city, I’ve been exposed to different types of hate and unjustified acts towards my people. I understand that race is a deeply embedded crater in our American History and it is continuing in today’s time in different ways. I believe we should look at one another as equal and respect each other as humans no matter where someone has come from. Everyone has equal rights.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

The best advice I got came from my Mom and it was, “Never say you CAN’T do something. You can do anything you put your mind to.” This advice gave me the determination that I carry today. Because of her, I believe there is nothing in this world that I can’t accomplish as long as I want to accomplish it. I’m very confident in myself and believe that I can beat any odds set against me.

Who was your childhood hero? 

My childhood hero is my dad. Watching him come from nothing, struggling as a kid, and being able to blossom and rise about the statistical expectations set against him is very inspiring. He did everything on his own and made sure his kids would have a better experience and childhood than he had. I appreciate him for staying motivated and handling his business to provide a better life for his kids.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school? 

The most underrated teammate in my locker room is our safety, Jahlil Brown. Jahlil is a downhill safety with great coverage skills. He is very instinctive and a good communicator. He had a good season back in 2019 but got little recognition for it. I believe this upcoming season (2021) he will officially break out and be arguably the best safety in the conference and one of the better safeties in the FCS.

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

My biggest pet peeve besides someone being dirty or having bad hygiene, I hate when people around me are complacent. I believe you should never get complacent because that is the easiest way to get surpassed. I think you should always stay goal-driven so when you accomplish one goal and easily find a new goal to be motivated by. This is what personally keeps me going because I love to achieve new heights and push myself beyond my potential.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

The hardest moment of my life was 2020, as for many people it was a terrible year because of COVID. For me, in 2020 I lost so many friends and family in a tragic way it became overwhelming at times. Seeing so many people around me die at a young age is not normal and can be hard to understand. And in the midst of the pandemic where everything was shut down including football, which was my only outlet, it made it hard to cope with everything that was going on. Giving up or crawling into depression would’ve been easy but I decided to stay motivated and work through the pain because that is what all my lost ones would want me to do.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

My school is special to me because it is close to home. Not that I have a problem being away from home but I appreciate being near home because I get a lot of support coming from back home. I am not too far from home so it makes it easy for friends and family to come to games or visit throughout the school year.

What is your favorite snack food? 

My favorite snack food is fruits. I love fruits, preferably watermelon, mangos, pineapples, strawberries, and more. Fruit not only nourishes me but it makes me feel good and energized.

What is the best part of football? 

The best part about football is the accountability that is involved. Everyone must do their job in order for the play to go the right way. Part of your job is preparing the right way such as watching film, learning the tendencies of their opponents, and practicing hard. Knowing that you need all of this to get the job done makes the sport so different from others because there is so much that goes into each play.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say? 

If you want a shutdown cornerback who is overly confident to the point where it rubs off on the rest of the team, someone who is a great human being and always aware of the bigger picture, then Dexter Lawson Jr. is the pick for you.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be? 

If I could compare myself to a player in the NFL right now I’d compare best to Jaire Alexander or Denzel Ward. We have similar body types and we are very technical at the cornerback position. We’re also instinctive and play with that DAWG mentality. Even with our size, we are willing to get physical and make tackles.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

  1. One person I hope I could sit down for dinner with is LeBron James. LeBron is my all time favorite athlete mainly because of how he carries himself off the court. I would want to pick his brain about how he manages to stay steps ahead in life and being such a disciplined individual. He is also someone who beat tons of odds so I would want to know deep down what keeps him motivated.
  2. Another person I wish I could’ve sat down for dinner with is Kobe Bryant. Kobe had a different approach to life that I admired so much and I wish I could pick his brains about it. The Mamba Mentality is real and the relentlessness and competitive nature that Kobe carried throughout his career is amazing. He went the extra mile to be better than his opponent and destroy them every chance he got. RIP Kobe & Gigi.
  3. Lastly, another person I hope I can sit down for dinner with is Deion “Primetime” Sanders. Prime brought a different type of swag to the game of football which changed the game even to this day, much like Allen Iverson did with basketball. I love how overly confident Prime was and still is to this day, the way he speaks just makes you want to believe every word he says. I’d want to pick his brain about where that swag came from and what kept him motivated.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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