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Auburn DL Carl Lawson declares for the NFL Draft

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, No. 25, tries to get around Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson, No. 55, as he carries the ball during the second half of the Sugar Bowl Monday, Jan. 2, in New Orleans.
Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, No. 25, tries to get around Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson, No. 55, as he carries the ball during the second half of the Sugar Bowl Monday, Jan. 2, in New Orleans. AP Photo

Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson needed less than 48 hours to weigh his future following his team’s 35-19 loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

Lawson announced plans to enter the NFL draft Wednesday with a short Twitter post.

“Thank you to the whole AU family for your love and support. Please send prayers my way as I embark on this new journey to the #NFL #WarEagle,” Lawson tweeted.

Lawson quickly ended speculation about his future after spending the previous month refusing to address the possibility of leaving Auburn early with one final year of eligibility.

“I really haven't thought about it that much,” Lawson said during his Sugar Bowl press conference.

While the fourth-year junior was widely expected to enter the draft as a projected first round draft pick, Lawson gave a similar variation to the answer all three times he met with the media leading up to the New Year’ Six game.

The defender went through Senior Day activities with the Tigers before the team’s final home game against Alabama A&M and sat with the group before the season during the program’s annual fan day.

Lawson’s teammates addressed the possibility of playing without the defensive lineman last week.

“I think we’ll still be fine,” Auburn linebacker Tre’ Williams said before the bowl game. “We’ll still be fine. Because we’ve developed our guys to where they know how we do things.”

The 6-foot-2, 253-pounder had 30 tackles (15 solo) this season, 13.5 tackles for a loss, with a team-leading nine sacks and 24 quarterback hurries. It was the first time since the Georgia native was a true freshman in 2013 he made it through a full season without any injury issues.

A torn ACL forced Lawson to redshirt in 2014 and a hip injury kept him sidelined for the first half of last season.

“All that bad stuff aside, every day at Auburn has been great,” Lawson said last week. “I have the fellowship with my brother, and just got to live this college football experience. Everything leading up to this point has been a great experience.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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