ESPN ranks Milton High School defensive end Carl Lawson, who is committed to Auburn, as the No. 5 overall college football prospect in the nation.
Has Lawson lived up to his 5-star status this season?
“No doubt about it; absolutely,” Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro said. “He’s leading our team.”
Despite seeing two or three blockers on most plays, Lawson has 11.5 sacks through five games for Milton (4-1), which plays at Etowah (3-2) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Lawson really impressed one of the former NFL players that coached at this past summer’s Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, which featured many of the nation’s top prospects.
“He was like ‘I don’t know anything about Robert Nkemdiche but if he’s better than Carl Lawson, then Nkemdiche must be Superman because that’s the best player I’ve ever seen,’” DeCristofaro said.
What’s the latest with recruiting? Lawson is committed to Auburn, but still being actively pursued by Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Washington and UCLA.
“Right now, I’m focused my high school season,” Lawson said. “I will wait until after the season to decide if I’m going to take other visits. I don’t know yet. I probably will take some officials but I don’t know yet.”
Lawson’s father played for Georgia Tech, and he got an early offer from the Yellow Jackets. However, the younger Lawson grew up a fan of UGA, but said the Bulldogs got involved too late. He had already built relationships with other schools.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Lawson is one of five seniors on Milton committed to BCS schools. The others are RB Peyton Barber (Ole Miss), OL Cory Helms (Wake Forest), OL Josh Harris (Wake Forest) and OL Eason Fromayan (TCU).
After Lawson, Barber is the team’s most intriguing prospect. He missed almost all of his junior season with a torn ligament in his ankle yet still was recruited by D1 schools. Many others were waiting to see how he played as a senior. Barber went ahead and committed to Ole Miss on July 30.
Despite the Ole Miss pledge, Barber is still being pursued by Arizona State and Wisconsin. Barber told the AJC he will take official visits to all three schools.
“Arizona State was in here the other day,” DeCristofaro said. “They are still recruiting him even though he’s committed to Ole Miss. But I think he’s made his decision, unless something drastic changes. He likes Hugh Freeze. He’s a church-going young man, and Coach Freeze is a religious kind of guy. And I think that was a connection there.”
In five games, Barber has rushed for 867 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s making Ole Miss and the other schools that offered early look very smart.
Some now consider Barber to be one of the state’s five best senior prospects at running back.
UPDATE: Carl Lawson had sacks in Thursday’s 59-27 win over Etowah, while Peyton Barber — wearing Ole Miss strips under his eyes — rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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