LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Luke Lawton had an atypical journey to the NFL. The former McNeese Cowboy went undrafted in 2004 and floated around the league before playing in his first game in November of 2005. He says getting to that level was all due to the work he put in.
“It was always an uphill climb but it was always something that I believed that I could do and had a passion for doing," admitted Lawton. "Everything just worked out for me, I was very fortunate.”
Later in his career, Lawton found some stability as a member of the Indianapolis Colts for two seasons, winning a Super Bowl in 2007. He then had a stint with the Raiders before his pro career came to a close in 2010 due to concussions.
“I got so used to it over the years because coaches would just say that you got your bell rung or you just got hit hard," said Lawton. "We didn’t treat that as a concussion back in the day. Unfortunately, there have been some changes that needed to be made and things that needed to be done.”
In an effort to spearhead the change, the New Iberia native started the Lawton Helmet Corporation. The line of smart helmets are designed to monitor air pressure, something Lawton had issues with during his playing days.
“I learned this concept the hard way," Lawton said. "If you don’t have a properly fitting helmet or it doesn’t have the right air pressure, the light on the helmet will turn red and it’ll be used as a notifier for your coaches and the referees to get you out of the game before you become susceptible to an injury. Although it’s not 100%, it’s the safest way to play football.”
Lawton says he'd like to see his helmets on every player within the next three years and truly sees his company being the next big thing in the football world.
“You know how they went from leather helmets to plastic? This is the next step from plastic, what my helmet company is going to do," Lawton expressed. "This is the next jump. That’s the kind of leap we’re taking.”
Lawton says that five Division I teams and five high school teams will be using his helmets starting in the 2020 season.