BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Auburn's defensive line will be without Carl Lawson for most or all of the 2014 season, Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced at SEC Media Days on Monday. Lawson is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL.
AL.com's Brandon Marcello reported last month that missing the entire 2014 season was "not in the thought process" for Lawson's family. But Malzahn confirmed that the injury, which Lawson suffered during spring practice, could keep the true sophomore defensive end sidelined for longer than expected.
A five-star prospect in the recruiting class of 2013, Lawson was a major signee in Malzahn's inaugural haul at Auburn. Lawson recorded 20 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss last season and earned several freshman All-America honors.
The Tigers were expecting more from Lawson this fall as they absorb the loss of talented defensive end Dee Ford, who was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. Now, junior DaVonte Lambert could step into that starting spot at end, while senior LaDarius Owens is set to line up on the other side.
A native of Alpharetta, Ga., Lawson was the top-ranked defensive end in 2013, according to Rivals.com.