Playing wide receiver, running back and defensive back for the Green Wave, Lanier has been a one-man wrecking crew for Gordo as they've advanced to the quarterfinals in Class 3A and a rematch with Cordova Friday night. Their journey almost came to an abrupt halt last week, but Lanier refused to let his season end at Dadeville.
Trailing 27-17 with just over four minutes remaining, Gordo faced a fourth and three at its own 40-yard line. That's when Lanier stepped up. Catching a bubble screen, he eluded defenders and raced the distance for a touchdown. Minutes later, following a Dadeville three and out, Lanier caught a 62-yard bomb on fourth and four to move Gordo inside the five-yard line.
Three plays later and the ball was back on the 13 with a fourth down and 11 to go. Again Gordo went to Lanier and he came up big with a touchdown catch to give the Green Wave the lead. An interception return for a touchdown sealed an improbable 37-27 comeback win. Lanier led the way with eight receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns.
That brought Lanier's senior stats to even more impressive numbers. The 6-1, 185 senior played running back the first part of the 2008 season and rushed for 833 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 72 carries. As a wide receiver he's caught 38 passes for 695 yards. He also returns punts and kickoffs for the Green Wave.
With those numbers you would think that colleges would be flocking to Gordo to see him in action, but so far that hasn't been the case. He says that right now he's only hearing from a few schools with no offers to speak of.
"I get a lot of letters, but some junior colleges came in to see me like Southwest Mississippi. My grades are okay. My GPA is a 2.9. I just took the ACT a few weeks ago. If I can just get somewhere and play I would give it my all."
Reporting a personal-best 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds, Lanier could play offense or defense on the next level. A former quarterback as a freshman at Carrollton, Lanier transferred to Gordo as a sophomore and has played for the Green Wave the last two seasons.
Friday night should be a battle between region rivals Gordo and Cordova. In the first meeting back in week three Cordova took a 39-27 victory. Round two should be just as good with the homestanding Blue Devils featuring running back Tim Simon and quarterback Ryan Smith.