Denham Springs (La.) defensive tackle Tevin Lawson has a pair of offers from LSU and Auburn with several other schools showing interest.
“I get letters from Georgia Tech, Tulane, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Oregon and a bunch more. But the ones I stay in touch with the most are LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss,” said Lawson.
What each set of Tigers and all of his other suitors see in the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder is a prospect with a ton of untapped potential.
Lawson started his sophomore year and half of his junior season protecting the blindside of his quarterback at left tackle before Denham Springs head coach Dru Nettles flipped him over to the other side of the ball full-time halfway through his junior campaign. He responded favorably to the move and finished the 2011 season with 77 tackles and five sacks.
“I think what shows up quickly on tape is he gets off the ball for a kid his size,” said Nettles. “He plays with good leverage and can play with his hands and feet and move quickly. His upside is tremendous.
“Playing offensive line helped him a lot and he’s only played defensive line for five weeks. He plays with his hands well and he has long arms. He will be a 300-pound kid that can run. I think his future is as a 3-tech or 5-tech.”
Lawson admits that he still isn’t completely comfortable on defense from a technique standpoint but he has used this spring to improve his footwork and technique, along with getting stronger in the weight room.
“I’ve been doing a lot of running and really just focusing on learning everything I can about playing on defense,” Lawson said. “I’ve really improved my strength especially on my power clean and bench. I went up on my clean from 285 to 315 and from 315 to 345 on the bench.”
While most of his time this spring has been spent on training, Lawson has also taken a few unofficial visits over to LSU for a pair of junior days and a practice. He will make another trip up I-12 over to campus this Saturday when he attends the LSU Spring Game.
With those previous trips under his belt, Lawson says there isn’t a whole lot about the school that he doesn’t already know. However, on Saturday he hopes to see a side of a certain coach that could help push him towards a decision.
“I really want to see if I’m committing to the right school if I would choose LSU,” Lawson said. “This will be a good chance to see if the coaches are pushing the players on the field and how the players respond.
“Since I’ve only played defense for a short time, I know that I have a lot to learn with my technique and I want to see how Coach (Brick) Haley coaches his guys on the D-line. He has proven that he can get guys to the league (NFL) and I’m anxious to see him in action.”
Lawson said that things would have to change for him to make a commitment this weekend because he wants to check out a few more schools before he renders a decision in Auburn and Ole Miss. But he also made it known where things stand in the race for his pledge.
“LSU is still at the top and No. 1 right now,” he said. “I just need to get my grades up and take care of my business and see some places to make sure I’m choosing the right school.”
Note: Lawson said he talks to Brick Haley at least once a week and he is his lead recruiter for LSU.
He plans to visit Auburn in the coming weeks along with Ole Miss. Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze reportedly told him he would have an offer from Ole Miss if he makes it town for a visit.