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April 27, 2005

Charlotte, N.C. – – The Carolina Panthers announced that they have come to terms on a free agent contract with former South Carolina linebacker Marcus Lawrence.

Lawrence was a key figure on a Gamecock defensive unit that ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference in total defense, sixth in rushing defense and third in pass defense efficiency. He ranked fourth on the team in 2004 with 57 tackles, 41 of which were unassisted. He enjoyed a career day against Georgia, making 14 tackles (all solo), including two tackles for loss and a safety. He forced a fumble and broke up a pass against the Bulldogs in that contest as well. Lawrence was a key figure in the Gamecocks’ win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, making 10 tackles against the Crimson Tide.

The Aiken, S.C., native and Silver Bluff HS graduate enjoyed his most productive year at Carolina in 2003, when he ranked second on the team with 99 tackles and led the squad with 9.5 tackles for loss. In addition, he registered a sack and recovered two fumbles. Lawrence made 10 tackles against eventual national champion LSU and established a career high with 12 tackles against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas.

Lawrence came to South Carolina from Butler County Community College, where he was named a first-team Junior College All-American by Gridwire. rated him as the No. 6 junior college prospect in America. He was ranked as the fifth-best junior college prospect by SuperPrep.