Carl Lawson: Is ESPN’s No. 5 overall prospect living up to the hype?

DE Carl Lawson is committed to Auburn and will decide after the season if he will visit other schools (AJC)

DE Carl Lawson is committed to Auburn and will decide after the season if he will visit other schools (AJC)

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.




– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

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34 comments Add your comment

AU in Milton

October 4th, 2012
3:11 pm

Lawson is a beast. He will start next year at AU.


October 4th, 2012
3:24 pm

I hope all these players go to ole miss lol. Robert and his crew an a few other players. Things would really change in the sec but hey good luck to everyone this upcoming weekend.

Old Boy

October 4th, 2012
3:34 pm

Did UGA ever actively pursue him (aside from the pursuit they give every 5 star prospect)? Was he never interested?

ATL Sports Fan

October 4th, 2012
4:51 pm

Old Boy- UGA gauge his interest but there was none there. Especially since his dad is a Georgia Tech grad.


October 4th, 2012
5:00 pm

All people named Carl are idiots w/ the exception of Carl Winslow from ‘Family Matters’. Period.


October 4th, 2012
5:27 pm

ATL Sports Fan -

I beleive UGA has a commitment in this year’s class (Naim Mustafaa) who’s father is a GT alum


October 4th, 2012
5:28 pm

If the kids can play and qualify, where their father or any family member plays is irrelevent.


October 4th, 2012
5:30 pm

Doesn’t matter DDPO. Lawson never had any interest in UGA, Mustafa did. Simple as that.


October 4th, 2012
5:31 pm

Of course, Auburn pays it’s recruits, and Richt and UGA won’t do that. So he goes where the money is, even if he wanted to go to UGA.

Score Check

October 4th, 2012
6:11 pm

@Joe I have all of the rumors on the Barn’s pay-for-play for years too. I’m not sure if there is really anything to it or not.

But I know one thing for sure if the Barn doesn’t turn things around in a hurry ALL of the Coaches (including chest-bumping Trooper) will likely be gone this year or next.


October 4th, 2012
6:38 pm

Would love to see you playing on the flats. You would make your father proud. Good luck where ever you end up.
God knows Tech needs you and you would be playing your freshman year.

dawggy style

October 4th, 2012
7:03 pm

It’s hard to catch AU paying players because they funnel the cash thru churches. AU is the most crooked program in the SEC… they have to try and keep up with Bama and that’s not easy.


October 4th, 2012
8:05 pm

Auburn is slime. They have a huge theft ring in their football ranks and a bunch of thugs playing for them and the coaching staff does little to stop it but oh yea this is the SEC where anything goes. Winning is motre important than teaching these kids life lessons. If this kid is smart he will change his mind.


October 4th, 2012
8:27 pm

Another one bites the dust. I tell you what, there’s no one better than Richt and Booboo in exporting Georgia Natural Resources to your out of state competition. It’s never more evident in their history with your offensive line. MARCUS MCNEIL, Cedar Grove – AUBURN, Pro Bowler for the San Diego Chargers. JAMES CARPENTER, Hepzibah – BAMA, 1st Round draft pick, Seattle. CHANCE WARMACK,BAMA, Atlanta Westlake, future NFLer, same school as another export, noted tight end prospect CAM NEWTON. JUJUAN JAMES, North Gwinnett, TENNESSEE, future NFLer,ROKEVIOUS WATKINS, Cedar Grove, SOUTH CAROLINA, literally kicked Christian Robinson’s butt all over Sanford Stadium last year, VADAL ALEXANDER, Buford, LSU, OCTAVIOUS JACKSON, Colquitt Co. FLORIDA GATORS, BRANDON GREENE, Cedar Grove. BAMA. These are just a few. Richt and Booboo don’t descriminate however, they’ve found time to keep ‘em home as well. SHAMIRE DEVINE, TECH. And these fools have decided to pass on JOSHUA OUTLAW, DEVONTE SEYMOUR, MARCUS SWAIN,and DELANDO CROOKS, among others. In the meantime, the Richt/Booboo/Friend and Joe T. BRAINTRUST opt to go out of state to land some top caliber SEC BALLERS. Huey and Dewey Long out of Memphis, Zach Dabell, from Fla. and the best of all, THE BIG FISH, Greg Pyke from the Boys Latin School in that hotbed for SEC linemen. MARYLAND! Do it Richt Do it Booboo and Do it DAWGS!. 32 damn years. Hey, what do you think Dawg fans, let’s go out on a limb and make it 33. Jeepers, what a progam.

no dawg

October 4th, 2012
8:42 pm


October 4th, 2012
9:02 pm

I just have to wonder how many of these kids will be at Auburn with their second losing season in a row. They recruit all this talent, but don’t when games. Cheesedip may not even be there after this year if he loses to Arkansas.


October 4th, 2012
9:26 pm


second losing season in a row?? What kind of college football have you been watching? Natty title in 2010, 8-5 with Chic fila bowl win last year. You cant exactly go to a bowl with a losing season even though .500 will

That guy

October 4th, 2012
9:28 pm

The ignorance on this page is astounding. Dawgs fans mad that a school like auburn got a recruit like lawson. Go by what you see and not what you hear.

H.E. Pennypacker

October 4th, 2012
9:48 pm

This sounds like a Georgia fan losing a big recruit and explaining why they can’t win a BCS title:

“I ran outta gas. I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from outta town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locust’s. It wasn’t my fault!! I swear to God!!”


October 4th, 2012
10:08 pm



October 4th, 2012
10:17 pm

There should be a word-limit-per-post on these sites.
Takes way too much time to scroll by Tootsie Tide Roll’s drivel.


October 4th, 2012
10:23 pm

Good luck to Carl in college, I hope he doesn’t mind that all of the coaches at AU will be gone before he graduates, maybe even before he makes it to Auburn.

Dawg Whisperer

October 4th, 2012
10:28 pm

It must be frustrating to be Tide Roll… all that rhetoric and nothing to show for it. Next verse, same as the first. God bless Richt and Bobo!

Rik Smits

October 5th, 2012
7:33 am

Hey TIDE ROLL… I noticed you neglected to mention out of state guys like Matt Stafford, AJ Green, Knowshon Moreno, and oh, wait for it… Ben Jones who was a stud center from Alabama… Sometimes including ALL the facts might make a difference

Tide Roll's Tutor

October 5th, 2012
8:45 am

Once again you have ignored my advice of staying off these blogs until my tutoring has taken effect. But no, you have to jump in again, and expose yourself to ridicule with another lame post with the same tired script.

Look, Tide Roll, we are impressed that you know the names of a bunch of in-state offensive linemen, but that is not enough to make a quality, logic-driven post. Until you quit bringing a knife to a gunfight, you will continue to catch well-deserved flack on this board. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You have earned another F.


October 5th, 2012
9:30 am

You guys are a HOOT! 15 months of NCAA investigation into every aspect of the Auburn athletic program results in this statement from the NCAA’s compliance officer: “We did a thorough investigation, there’s nothing there”. Yet you get on message boards and spew ignorance about Auburn paying players at the same time Saint Richt is reporting 14 secondary violations.

If or when UGA gets their operation as clean as Auburn’s, then you’ll be proud. Until then, you are way behind in the ethics department.


October 5th, 2012
10:03 am

This kid grew up a UGA fan, but says “they got involved too late”. Why don’t you people in Athens get your head out of your A%# and identify who you should recruit!!!


October 5th, 2012
3:14 pm

I happen to know for a fact that Gardner didn’t come to Milton till the end of Spring ball and didn’t even know who Carl was, didn’t give him the time of day. As of right now they still haven’t shown interest. There were plenty other schools showing interest in Carl so how can you blame him?

CGHS Observer

October 5th, 2012
3:44 pm

UGA moves really slow when evaluating instate talent. they will continue to allow some of their best talent to end up at programs like, BAMA, TENN, SC, UF and the like if the continue their “slow evaluation” period. Its a shame too, because the majority of the instate kids want to play for their home school…


October 5th, 2012
4:17 pm

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.


If the kid is going to wait until after the season to make a decision, how is it that UGA “got involved too late?” He is still looking around so this he has built relationships with other schools jazz doesn’t pass the smell test. He can only go to one school so how strong can all of these relationships be!!!!!!


October 5th, 2012
6:01 pm

You can’t recruit every kid in Georgia, some don’t even want to go to UGA. If this kid grew up a dog fan, I don’t think them being late to offer would hurt their chances if he really liked the dogs as he said!!

The Bottom Line

October 5th, 2012
7:06 pm

Where is the cool article on Derrick Henry committing to Bama?

[...] Is ESPN’s No. 5 overall prospect living up to the hype? Yes or no? [...]


October 8th, 2012
7:49 am

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.

AGAIN, dogs getting involved too late. I understand everyone is saying it shouldn’t matter. But it does. Richt and Garner asleep at the wheel AGAIN. The kid grew up an UGA fan for crying out loud. Number 5 recruit in the nation and we will wait to see how we feel about him? Wouldn’t matter anyway as the Old Ball Coach is right. Talent comes here to die…