“You helped me get here! I’m so damn proud to be a Neville Tiger and an LSU Tiger!” Rashard Lawrence shouts after winning the National Championship in January.

“Through many peaks and valleys, Rashard Lawrence’s road to success was never easy. But, it is leading him to the top of football’s mountain.

“Man, a little anxious. But, for the most excited to see what’s next, ” says Lawrence.

Over a dozen LSU stars are slated to be taken in this weekend’s NFL Draft, and Lawrence will be one of them. When and where? That’s anyone’s guess.

“You put in all of the hard work, sacrificed throughout all of the years. And, now you’re here, ” Lawrence says. “Regardless of where I go in the Draft it’s not going to make or break me. What is going to make or break me is what I do next. And, how I show a team I’m ready to play.”

What about his teammates? That’s not even a topic of conversation, for now.

“Everyone has kind of ventured off, with everything going on, ” Lawrence says. “Not much contact other than a couple of texts, maybe a little FaceTiming. Maybe when all of this is over, and life goes back to normal, I’m sure we’ll be able to recap and really take some time to say, ‘this was a really special time,'”

The 6-foot-2 inch, 308 pounder has spent the last few weeks training. During that time, Lawrence’s phone has been ringing off the hook from many NFL representatives.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to talk to some of the best Defensive Line coaches in the game, ” Lawrence continues. “Having a GM or two call you, it’s pretty impressive. Blessed enough not to have any character issues that came up. It’s more just talking ball. How I can help the team.”

And, while speaking with some of football’s best, he knows where improvement is needed.

“My pass rushing ability going to the next level, ” says Lawrence. “You have to have that next edge in your game. So, I want to be able to work on a variety of finesse movements in the pass rushing game.”

No matter when Lawrence will get that phone call, he knows many will be by his side. That includes his father, former Grambling quarterback, Ronald Lawrence.

“He’s just saying it’s the next journey, ” the younger Lawrence says. “Regardless of where you get drafted, how high, how low, how however you think you have to be ready to work. You’re competing against the best of the best.”