December 16, 2009 Edition

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Lawson completes second
season with Red Wolves

Derek Lawson
Gretchen Hunt

Derek Lawson, son of Ed and Tracy Lawson of Walnut Ridge and Vivian Phillips of Jonesboro, recently completed his second season on the Arkansas State University football team.

A running back for the Red Wolves, Lawson finished the season with 244 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving. With playing time in all 12 of the Red Wolves' 2009 games, he also recorded two touchdowns.

A highlight for Lawson was playing then #13 Iowa on Oct. 3 with a final score of 21-24 in favor of the Hawkeyes.

"It was great going to Iowa and playing them in a close game and having a chance to beat them," he said.

ASU Coach Steve Roberts praised Lawson's efforts both on and off the field.

"He's an outstanding young man and an extremely hard worker," Roberts said. "He's definitely an outstanding contributor to our football team."

Roberts noted that Lawson played with an injury.

Derek Lawson runs the ball for Arkansas State University in the Red Wolves' 27-10 homecoming victory over Florida International University. Lawson recorded a touchdown in the third quarter to help his team in its winning effort.
Courtesy of ASU Sports Information

"He played this year and did a good job for us while having a banged up shoulder," he said.

Following a record-breaking senior season at Nettleton High School, Lawson red-shirted his first year.

As a Raider, he helped lead Nettleton to the 5A state semifinals and rushed for an Arkansas high school record 3,090 yards. He recorded 36 touchdowns his senior season, a tie for the fifth most in Arkansas high school history.

In 2008, Lawson recorded 695 yards, led all Sun Belt Conference freshmen in rushing and ranked 10th in the nation among freshmen running backs.

Has two more years

A business administration major, Lawson said he is excited about playing during the remaining two years of his eligibility.

"I look forward to the next couple of years," he said. "I have two years under my belt, and I have a real chance at being the starting guy. I really look forward to that."

Coach Roberts said he is glad to have Lawson for two more years.

"I'm looking forward to his future contributions to our program," he said.

Lawson started his education at Hoxie School, where he was a student until the first grade.

He is the grandson of the late Billy Joe and Elouise Jones, who lived in Hoxie, Jack Lawson of Walnut Ridge and the late Shirley Lawson and Everett and Genevia Green of Hoxie. His great-grandmother is Marguerite Gwaltney of Swifton, and he has numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Lawrence County.

"I appreciate all my family and those who are close to my family and friends who have supported me and keep up with me," he said.

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