Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence remains ‘Big Dex’ despite weight loss


CLEMSON – Big Dex is still Big Dex.

He’s just not quite as big as he used to be.

That became common knowledge last Wednesday when Dexter Lawrence stepped on the scales for the Clemson football team’s official weigh-in on the eve of the first practice of fall.

Coaches nor teammates nor even Big Dex, himself, knew what the numbers would reveal when his name was called.

“There was definitely a lot of anticipation for my weigh-in, because there was no telling how much I was going to weigh,” Lawrence said. “I didn’t weigh myself the last few days.”

Scales don’t lie, at least not the scales in the Clemson weight room, and the news was good.

“I’ve never been so happy to see a guy weigh 337,” Swinney said. “I mean not long ago he was a biscuit away from 350.”

Try 360.

“I got up to about 355,” Lawrence confessed somewhat sheepishly.

Big Dex didn’t get there by chance, as teammate and fellow defensive line mate Christian Wilkins learned rather quickly. On his first day on campus last year, Lawrence ate breakfast with Wilkins, who was left in disbelief.

“He probably ate about 10 eggs for breakfast – he had like two or three omelets,” Wilkins said. “I’m like, ‘How are you eating so many eggs?’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, I love eggs.’”

That’s not all Lawrence loves.

“He also had sides,” Wilkins said. “He had a waffle in there and all these other sides like breakfast meat.”

Lawrence offered a simple explanation.

“It was free,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Why not?’”

Lawrence also made a habit of ordering four-piece chicken dinners with all the fixings, then inflicting some serious damage on his personal favorite – ice cream.

“I’m an ice cream man,” he revealed Thursday. “I tore it up.”

So what’s his preferred flavor?

“Whatever tastes good,” Lawrence said.

That encompasses a wide variety when it comes to ice cream, so it’s understandable that Big Dex’s weight soared.

It also didn’t help that Lawrence had offseason toe surgery, which limited his movement for a while and only made it easier to pack on the pounds. He peaked at 355, which he now refers to as his “post-surgery weight.”

So what’s a big guy to do?

Make better food choices, apparently. Lawrence has paid closer attention to his diet of late while also curtailing his consumption of ice cream, resulting in his recent weight loss.

“I couldn’t have what I wanted – let’s just say that,” he said.

Still, there’s no danger of Lawrence being tossed about by a strong headwind anytime soon.

Put it this way: Lawrence may have lost 18 pounds in the past few months, but he’s still 39 pounds heavier than Clemson’s next-biggest defensive lineman.

But that’s OK. He’s also a few pounds lighter than his playing weight last season, when he made 79 tackles, broke the Clemson freshman record with seven sacks, and earned Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Freshman of the Year honors.

“He’s just a freak athletically,” Wilkins said. “He’s gifted, just so powerful and strong, just moving people and being disruptive. He’s relentless.

“It takes a lot of energy for him to move around, but he does it and he’s a hard worker who gets after it on every play. He has a big motor.”

Given that, perhaps Big Dex deserves an occasional scoop or 10 of ice cream, flavor inconsequential.

Whatever tastes good will suffice.

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Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence remains ‘Big Dex’ despite weight loss

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