By Mick Moninghoff
April 5, 2019
The Massachusetts Pirates professional arena football team in Worcester has signed defensive back Lawrence Austin for the 2019 season. Austin, who checks in at 5’10” 187 lb., played his college football at Georgia Tech. After tryouts with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League and the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football, Austin will now bring his talents to Massachusetts of the National Arena League. He’s getting comfortable in his first arena training camp.
“It’s going well. It’s a learning experience and I’m taking everything in. It’s my first time being in Massachusetts and it’s a great experience so far,” he said.
Austin appeared in 45 games in four seasons at Georgia Tech and finished his career with 108 tackles and six interceptions. As for his play, Austin say’s you can expect a little of everything.
“I’m just a hard working player. I’ll tackle, cover, just try to do it all. Anything that I can do to help the team,” he added.
Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim feels that Austin has a place in the Pirates rebuilt secondary.
“Lawrence is a big piece of what we got going on. I feel like the defensive back position has been the most important as we don’t have a returning member from last year’s secondary. From what I’ve seen in practice he moves well, is physical and has great ball skills. He’s competitive which is something I’m big on. I’ve seen that in the couple practices he’s participated in. I think he will end up being a real important player for us. We’re glad to have him,” Yatim said.
Growing up in Barnesville, GA, Austin and his twin brother Lance both played youth football and high school ball at Lamar County Comprehensive. They both went on to play defensive back at Georgia Tech. Both actually worked out for the Atlanta Falcons.
“Coming out of high school we were both recruited by some of the same schools and we just made the decision to go to Georgia Tech together. This is actually the first time that we are on separate teams. He’s with the Baltimore Brigade (of the Arena Football League), Austin said.
Austin admits the speed of the game may take some getting used to.
“The game is kind of fast,” he said with a smile. “It’s a 50 yard field, there’s a receiver coming straight at you before the ball is snapped so I have to adjust to it as a whole.” He adds the coverages are not much different than when he played with the Yellow Jackets. “There’s a lot of man to man, a lot of switching, but if you’ve played one coverage you’ve kind of played them all. Don’t get your head down. You’re going to get beat sometimes but this is the game of football. Just keep going.”
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2019 season will be on sale in September. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $200.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email [email protected] or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.