Lawrence Lilly, a 6-4 1/2, 250-pounder from Montevallo High School, told Inside the Auburn Tigers that he plans to sign with Auburn in February.
Tight end Lawrence Lilly.
"Having Jason Campbell at quarterback is a big influence in my decision," says Lilly. "I have been watching the games and I see the way they throw the football to Robert Johnson and Lorenzo Diamond and I am loving that."
Lilly plays both ways for Montevallo High. He is a defensive end, but says he expects to play offense at Auburn. His team is off to a 4-1 start and he has caught four passes for 94 yards with two going for touchdowns. He caught 22 passes as a junior with eight going for touchdowns. He has been favorably compared to Rufus French, who was a standout tight end for Tommy Tuberville's teams at Ole Miss.
Also this week, the Tigers picked up a commitment from 6-1, 195, 4.4 defensive back Brandon Williams from Shaw High School in Columbus, Ga..
Lilly runs a 4.8 40-yard dash, bench presses 260 pounds, squats 415 pounds and has a 35-inch vertical jump, which he also uses in basketball, where he is a three-year starter who averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior center and power forward.
The tight end says he chose the Tigers over Ole Miss, Vandy and Duke as well as offers from others. He adds that he has a qualifying ACT score and a 3.2 grade point average. He says that defensive ends coach Terry Price and tight ends coach Tony Levine are the Auburn assistants that he has talked to during the recruiting process.
"Me and my mom came to Auburn this past weekend and we both liked it," Lilly says. "I have been to Auburn several times and I liked it everytime. I went to camp there this past summer and liked all of the coaches and the things they do with the football team and the whole atmosphere at Auburn."
Lilly says he was particularly impressed by the Auburn fans and the pre-game Tiger Walk before the Mississippi State game. "It was fun," Lilly says. "Another reason I decided on Auburn is that all of the fans are really into the game. They were fired up and it makes you want to go out there and win for them." The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 16-14 to improve to 3-0 in the SEC.
Lilly says that he considers himself a good receiver. "I feel like I am good at catching the ball and running with it after I make the catch," he says. "Last year we were running a three-wide receiver thing, but this year we have moved to the ‘I' formation and my blocking has picked up."
The Tigers have six other verbal commitments from high school seniors and one from a junior college player. In addition to Brandon Williams, the group includes:
•Greg Wilkerson, a 6-3, 230 pound athlete from Bowdon, Ga., High, who will be placed in junior college by the Tigers.
•Justin Bruce, a 6-9, 250, 4.6 tight end from Pepperell High in Lindale, Ga.
•Kevin Sears, a 6-4 1/2, 217-pound, 4.6 defensive back from Russellville High.
•William Ward, a 6-2, 250, 4.9 center for Prattville High. He is also an excellent deep snapper.
•Oliver King, a 6-2, 215, 4.5 linebacker is from North Surry High in Mount Airy, N.C.
•Kevis Burnam is a 6-2, 230, 4.6 linebacker from Macon County High in Montezuma, Ga.
•Seante Williams is a 6-5, 250, 4.65 defensive end at Coffeyville, Kan., Community College who is originally from Pine Forest High in Pensacola, Fla.
Tiger Ticket Extra: Auburn is not expected to offer a scholarship to one of its 1999 sign-to-place prospects who is a junior college sophomore. Brennis Smith is a 6-4, 270 defensive end/tight end who has been playing at Hinds, Miss., Community College. He is originally from Vernon, Fla., High...In addition to Lilly and Brandon Williams, there were close to 100 other prospects and suspects in for unofficial visits to watch the Tigers defeat Mississippi State. The group included a prospect who has already verbally committed to South Carolina, running back Kenny Irons from Dacula, Ga., the brother of 2001 AU signee David Irons, a running back/cornerback who is redshirting as a freshman at Butler County Community College in Kansas.
Several of the most impressive prospects on campus this past weekend didn't have to travel far. Opelika High standouts Will Herring and Tommy "T.J." Jackson are believed to be high on AU's recruiting wish list. Herring, a quarterback who AU is recruiting as an athlete, is having a super year running the football. Jackson is considered the top defensive line prospect in the state. Opelika is also expected to have one of the state's top prospects again for the 2003 signee class. Junior Tez Doolittle, a 6-2, 240-pound end/linebacker, is having a very impressive season and was a star an AU summer camp.
(Copyright 2001, Inside the Auburn Tigers Magazine)