UGA and Georgia Tech fans seems to be far more disappointed to see the state’s top two prospects, DE Robert Nkemdiche (committed to Clemson) and LB Reuben Foster (committed to Alabama), pick out-of-state schools than seeing DE Carl Lawson do the same (committed to Auburn).
The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder from Milton High School has sort of flown under the radar, if that’s possible while being ranked No. 5 overall by ESPN.
At a recent all-star combine with the nation’s top prospects, Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell proclaimed Lawson as the most dominant overall player at the first day of camp and said it would be “not crazy” if Lawson challenged Nkemdiche’s spot at No. 1.
That’s some mind-boggling praise for Lawson, who did not have any early football scholarship offers last December before blowing people away at the RisingSeniors.com all-star game.
“I guess I’m considered one of the top prospects in the nation but I don’t really know,” Lawson told the AJC. “I just go out there and try to compete against the best.”
Another recruiting analyst said if Lawson was two inches taller, he would be ranked at the No. 1 spot. (Note: Nkemdiche is the most talented prospect I’ve ever seen out of Georgia, but I couldn’t argue against Lawson at No. 2).
Which brings us to Georgia Tech and UGA.
Lawson’s father played football at Georgia Tech, yet they weren’t one of the first schools to offer. Perhaps taking the high road, Lawson says it wasn’t a big deal.
“They were kind of late to offer but it was just a fact I didn’t feel a connection to Georgia Tech,” he said. “When you find a college, you have to find it yourself. It wasn’t about them offering late because my dad played there. It was about what fit best for me and my family, and Auburn was the choice.”
What about UGA? It’s the same story, according to Lawson. “The real story … this is what happened … I just … I don’t know. Coach Grantham came up to the school. He’s a great person. I just told him I loved Auburn.
“It wasn’t anything like that there’s bad blood. I never said that. I just was never interested in Georgia.”
What is interesting about Lawson is that after he committed to Auburn in late March, he has continued to visit other schools – including Oregon and USC, with an upcoming trip scheduled to Florida State.
In fact, Lawson plans to take all five official visits as a senior. He’s not sure yet, other than Auburn. But he says the schools recruiting him the hardest right now are Tennessee, Ole Miss, USC, UCLA, Florida State and Florida.
“I’m still firm with Auburn but I want to see what else is out there,” Lawson said. “You only have this experience once in your life to visit places, and I want to take advantage of it. I don’t know where I’m going yet but I will tell you this: I’m taking all five of my official visits.”
Should Auburn be concerned about the official visits to other schools? “I don’t know. We’ve never talked about that. But they know I’m still firm to Auburn and I know I am, too.”
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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