AU Leading For Star Defensive End

One of the top defensive ends in the Southeast gave Auburn two thumbs up after another junior day visit, and could be close to making a final decision.

Alpharetta, Ga. – Milton High School defensive end Carl Lawson, who has more than 20 scholarship offers already, took in another Auburn junior day on Saturday and came away with a leader.

"It was a great visit," he said. "It always is. I just really love Auburn. I've got to take all of my other visits first, but I'm really leaning towards it. I love Coach (Brian) VanGorder, I love Coach (Mike) Pelton, and I love Coach (Gene) Chizik. It's just a great place, a great town and I really liked it.

Asked if Auburn was his leader, Lawson responded, "I'd have to say so as of right now just because of the people, just because I love talking with Coach Pelton. I love the town. It's a nice place and a great place to be.

"I'm going to all my official visits pretty soon," Lawson added on making a decision. "I already got to take my visits to USC and UCLA. Then I'm probably going to make my decision after that, but I'm trying to get it done before the season."

Lawson (6-3, 245 pounds) went to Auburn's junior day on Jan. 21 as well, but this time he wanted his parents to be there with him.

"I did pretty much the same thing I did the last time I was here for junior day – look at campus, see the educational programs, look around," he explained. "I met with Coach Chizik. Really I came up here because they really wanted to meet my parents. The last time my father wasn't able to attend. So I brought them because Coach Chizik really wanted to talk to them, and get a chance to meet them. Same thing with Coach VanGorder and Coach Pelton."

Coach Pelton is in his second year at Auburn as the defensive line coach, and one of the main reasons Lawson loves the Tigers.

"He's definitely a great coach," Lawson said of his possible future position coach. "He's a coach I could play for because he tells the truth. I don't know much, and he sounds like he could better my development. I talk to him all the time about how I could become a better football player my senior year (of high school), even if I wasn't coming to Auburn. He still helps me out with that, which shows his great character, and I really like talking to him."

One of Auburn's additions to the staff this year is Brian VanGorder at defensive coordinator from the Atlanta Falcons.

"VanGorder is an NFL coach and he says I have all three traits at the defensive end position," said Lawson, a stout end who has the frame to play inside. "Most great pass rushers are explosive and will go get the quarterback. I love how they're down to earth with you. You're not ever going to tell a kid that he's going to start. They really love me, and they really want me to commit to Auburn. They're recruiting me hard, and I'm looking at them hard."

For some players the recruiting process can get hectic with offers from coast to coast, but everything is under control for Lawson.

"I'm enjoying it, but at a certain point there's an unlimited number of schools but there's only one place that you can go," he explained.

As far as what he's looking for in a school, Lawson said, "Just overall what school would do best for me, and what I can do best for that school."

Lawson played defensive tackle in two games last year for Milton High School because of injury to another player, and he plans on playing some spot duty fullback during his senior season. Last season he racked up some incredible stats against tough competiation.

"I had 15 sacks, 31 tackles for a loss and over 80 tackles," Lawson noted.

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