The Kingsway Regional (Swedesboro, N.J.) two-way athlete liked what he saw then. But those thoughts were far exceeded Saturday afternoon, before, during and after he watched Penn State beat Temple 24-13 on an unofficial visit to University Park.
“The visit was really good. I liked the fans and the atmosphere. It's really good,” Lawry said. “I can see myself playing there in the future.”
Heading into week three of the South Jersey football season, Lawry was the leading rusher in the conference, taking 37 carries for 506 yards and eight touchdowns - more than 100 yards more then the next closest rusher. While Lawry's speed -- he claims a 4.4 40-yard dash time -- is a contributing factor, some tips from Penn State running backs coach Charles London may have contributed to his early season success, too.
“Coach London pointed out some things at camp that I could improve on, and that's helped,” Lawry said. “One of the weaknesses he pointed out was picking up my feet as I go through the hole, and that was the main thing I've focused on.”
Lawry saw a familiar look at Beaver Stadium when Bill O'Brien's offense was on the field, because it's similar to the one ran at Kingsway.
“My high school team runs a similar offense with the power-I and spread, and the off-tackle stuff, so I like that,” Lawry said.
The 5-foot-9 junior is hearing from Rutgers, Temple, Old Dominion, Miami, Wisconsin, Boston College, Connecticut and Pittsburgh, and will likely take unofficial visits to some of those schools this season.
But he wasn't the only Kingsway Regional player in attendance Saturday.
Justin Morrison, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound Class of 2014 cornerback, joined Lawry on the sideline after receiving interest from Penn State last spring.
“I heard from them first through my coach during the spring, but I wasn't able to camp because I tore my ACL,” Morrison said. “The visit went great, through. I loved the atmosphere of the game, and it was very fun to watch.”
Morrison is considering Penn State along with Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Wisconsin and Temple. The NCAA sanctions against PSU do not seem to be a factor for him.
“That stuff will only affect me for a couple of years if I were to redshirt, so I'm not really thinking about that,” Morrison said. “I know they have one of the biggest stadiums, and I'd love to play in front of that type of crowd.”
The junior has been in touch mostly with Penn State linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden.
“Coach Vanderlidnen thinks I have great potential, and he said that he could see me playing there,” Morrison said. “I play wide-receiver and running back, too. So I have a lot of time to figure all of that out.”