Lawrence Austin doesn’t want to leave Georgia Tech without a touchdown

September 9, 2017 Atlanta - Georgia Tech defensive back Lawrence Austin (20) runs after he made an interception in the first half of the Georgia Tech home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 9, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM



Georgia Tech nickel back and team captain Lawrence Austin’s time is winding down. A senior, the number of games remaining is down to, at most, eight games. But there’s one particular personal goal he’d like to achieve before his time in a Yellow Jackets uniform is complete – score a touchdown.

“I’ve dreamed so many scenarios,” Austin said. “You never know because (twin brother) Lance had a crazy one. But Qua (Searcy) scored and Lance scored, so I’m the only one from Lamar County that hasn’t scored. I’m trying to catch them one of these days.”

Lance has two touchdowns to his credit, both significant. In 2015, he famously returned a blocked field-goal try by Florida State for six points, the Miracle on Techwood Drive. Last year, he picked off Virginia quarterback Matt Johns late in the game and returned the ball 24 yards for a game-icing score. (Lawrence threw the final block on the return.)

Their close friend Searcy, who joined the Austins out of Lamar County High in Tech’s 2014 signing class, has three touchdowns, none bigger than the game-winning score to beat Georgia last November in Athens.

Like his twin, Lawrence Austin’s career is not without accomplishment. To this point, he has appeared in every game he has been available to play in, 44 and counting, with 25 starts. He has six career interceptions, collecting two of them in the upset win over Virginia Tech last year to earn ACC defensive back of the week. Going into Saturday’s game against Wake Foret, he leads the team in tackles with 23. Teammates voted him one of the team’s three captains two weeks ago. Undersized and overlooked in high school, he has more than lived up to expectations.

But the end zone eludes.

Austin came close in the Jacksonville State game in September, jumping a route at the Tech 47-yard line with plenty of running room in front of him. However, after evading Jacksonville State quarterback Bryan Horn, Austin was brought down by, of all people, his brother Lance, who was rushing upfield to try to block for him. Lawrence’s cut to the inside put him right in Lance’s path, and he was felled at the Gamecocks 32-yard line. (The play nonetheless was a game-changer, setting up a go-ahead touchdown for Tech.)

Tech has not had a defensive touchdown this season. Perhaps Lawrence Austin can be the one.

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