Junior DE Demarcus Lawrence (8) waits his turn to go through a drill at fall camp, along with DE Beau Martin (53) and TE Gabe Linehan (87).
Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence transferred from Butler Community College to Boise State and earned a starting spot right away last year.
Aside from sitting out two games (UNLV and Washington) for violating team rules, Lawrence had an outstanding season. He recorded a team-high 9.5 sacks and led the Mountain West with 0.86 sacks a game in 2012.
Lawrence returns to Boise State for his junior year with the goal of taking on a leadership role. He also says that after a year in the system he now has a grasp on the playbook, which will allow him to focus on other aspects of his game to help him improve.
Check out the complete Q&A with Lawrence below:
How have the first couple days of practice gone?
"I think the first couple days have been pretty good. We’re going back after 2012 - a pretty good year. Now we’re trying to make it better this year."
What are you trying to accomplish this fall camp?
"I’m trying to get better everyday. As a team leader, I’m trying to have more focus this year and be a better team player."
Last year was your first at Boise State. How much more comfortable are you this year?
"I think this year is more of a focus period. Last year, coming in, I had to learn a lot. Now this year, I know it all. So I have to have the focus of getting better each day."
LB Blake Renaud says you’ve become the vocal leader of the defense. Is that true?
"I don’t know about the vocal leadership role, but I want to be a better leader because I feel like the team will follow me if I come in and show that I want to work they’re going to want to work. I have to step up and come to the plate."
How has you game improved over the last year?
"I think my game is going to be different this year because coach (Pete Kwiatkowski) and coach (Andy) Avalos have been teaching me more on my pass rush and my techniques. My techniques are going to be better than last year."
After picking up 9.5 sacks last season, are you worried that teams might try to do more to stop you?
"I don’t know what the offense might do. It’s just the team play. If I make a good play, somebody else is going to make a good play. So it’s not always about me. It’s about the team."
How much does it help having a talented player like Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe lining up next to you?
"It’s a blessing because they can’t put all the attention on me. They’re going be have to put it on Ricky, Blake, somebody else. We all going to cause havoc this year."
Home much does it help going against a guy like LT Charles Leno, Jr. in practice each day?
"It’s always an honor to get reps against Charles because you’re making each other better every day. We always want to get better any chance we get."
There are a lot of new faces along the defensive line. What do you expect out of some of them?
"I think the young guys are coming in and working real hard this year. We have a couple guys like Kamalei (Correa) - he’s a pretty good guy. We have a lot of young guys that are eager to work. Eager to learn. It’s going to be a pretty good year for them."
Is there pressure to try and live up to what last year’s defense did?
"There is always pressure every year, but we feed off each other. We’re going to try to be the best we can be each and every day."
With a year of experience in Boise State’s defensive scheme, can you focus more on the little things to make yourself better instead of trying to learn the playbook?
"The little things like reading the offensive formation. (I’m) trying to read their plays because I know mine now. I can sit there and try to learn what the offense is going to try to do to stop me. That’s the whole point of the game. Trying to learn each and every day."
Were you satisfied with your performance last year (led Mountain West with 0.86 sacks per game)?
"I’m never satisfied trying to be average. I just want to be better everyday."
What have you seen out of OL Rees Odhiambo so far in camp?
"I see Rees, he came in and he wanted to work. He wanted to get better. He wanted to take on that role as a starter this year and he’s been doing it so far."
What makes him so good?
"His size. He has quick feet and then he has strong hands. It makes him even better."
How do you feel about the whole group at defensive line?
"We lost some great guys last year, but this year we’re coming back with more focus. There’s a lot of guys that want to stand up and play this year. We’re coming back and causing havoc any chance we get."
— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)