April 4, 2012

Lawrence gets first FBS offer

After responding to an unexpected letter he had received in the mail, Macon (Georgia) defensive tackle Jalen Lawrence received his first scholarship offer from a FBS football program. Having never been to Lubbock or Texas, much less past Alabama, the offer from Texas Tech, specifically from defensive line coach Fred Tate, came as a pleasant surprise to 2013 prospect.

"Coach Tate basically sent me a letter that said he wanted me on the defensive line and to give him a call. When I called him later that day, he gave me a verbal offer over the phone," Lawrence said.

The 6-foot, 255-pound lineman, honestly, was unsure how the Tech staff found his tape, but is glad the Red Raiders popped up on his radar in the recruiting process. Lawrence, who has been talking to Tate about once a week over the phone, said he has enjoyed his conversations and that he's pretty sure there will be a visit to Lubbock sometime in the future.

"Coach Tate has been extremely welcoming," Lawrence said. "I think he or someone from Tech is going to come visit me and check out our spring practice which starts up next week. He said I need to get together with my parents and him to schedule a visit to come see the campus out there."

Given that the Red Raiders just recently entered Lawrence's recruiting scene, it's not a surprise he is a little unfamiliar with Tech's defensive scheme and how he might fit into it. Regardless, where he projects on the field at the collegiate level matters very little to him.

"Really and truly I'll go wherever I'm needed. To me, being a team player is the most important thing," he said. "Coach Tate said he likes the way I play. He likes that I never give up on a play is the main thing and how after a play is gone to the other side I'm the one always trying to put in that extra 100 percent to get the play."

Similar to his recruitment by Tech, Lawrence still has a lot of feeling out to do in the overall recruiting process and is interested in a wide variety of places to attend, which range from the ACC (Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest) to the SEC (Vanderbilt, South Carolina) to the Ivy League (Yale, Princeton) to even a few other non-FBS programs (Southern, Alabama State, South Alabama).

"Right now I'm just trying to let everything line up and I'll choose when I feel the time is right," he said. "It doesn't really matter to me how far I go from home. I mean, I would love to stay close to home, but if that's just not in the cards then I'll go as far as I have to."

Lawrence says his current top is Tech, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, Florida State, and Southern and that he would more than likely rank the Red Raiders in his top two.


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