BYU Recruits Player From The Keystone State

The Cougar coaching staff has done an outstanding job in recruiting some of the top LDS talent across the country. BYU has recently offered an athlete that could possibly play multiple positions at the D-I level.

If there ever was an athlete that could really do it all, it's Marco Lawrence. Lawrence's athleticism, size, speed and ability to play multiple positions on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball creates a nice advantage for college coaches.

"Right now I'm 6 foot 1 [inch] and 207 pounds," said Lawrence. "At the last combine I attended my fastest forty was a 4.4 flat. I run a 4.4 and a 4.5 consistently, so I'm a sub 4.5 forty guy. I guess I can move a little bit.

"I play a mixture of positions. When I was in high school I beat Kevin Jones' [Detroit Lions] rushing record. I came into my junior college [Valley Forge Military Academy & College] as a running back, but then we had a lot of kids that were being recruited. So my coach asked me if I could do him a favor by switching and play free safety, so I played free safety, wide receiver and tailback.

"I played a mixture of positions just to help my team out and I got the Player of the Year award for the conference. I had 98 tackles at my junior college, and [while] rushing I had around 400 yards and two touchdowns. As a receiver I had around 20 receptions for around 400 yards and four touchdowns. Coach Mike, who is like my mentor and was also Larry Fitzgerald's [Arizona Cardinals], reminded me that I could play more than just free safety."

Lawrence played high school football in Pennsylvania, where he received top honors for his senior performance.

"I went to Upper Darby High School in Pennsylvania," Lawrence said. "It's one of the largest high schools in Pennsylvania. In high school I was All-State, I got All-Delaware County, All-Delco, All-Southeaster and I broke our high school rushing record and high school touchdown record. I was third in our county for overall rushing yards [2,136], breaking Kevin Jones' record. I was second in county for the most touchdowns [33] in a season. When I got up to my junior college I was Defensive Player of the Year and I was selected as Player of the Year overall."

Lawrence still has one more year left at the J.C. level, but is already receiving letters from major D-I programs all across the country and has already has written offers in hand.

"I'm getting a mixture of letters from all over," said Lawrence. "Miami sent me letters and LSU sent me letters. Oregon State has sent me letters, [and] Pittsburgh, Temple, West Virginia, Minnesota, Utah and BYU have sent me letters. I still have another season at my junior college but I have received a couple of offers. I've got official offers from BYU, Temple and Minnesota. Utah is on their way to offer and Pittsburgh is on their way to offer, as well as West Virginia."

Right now Lawrence favors Minnesota after having established a good relationship with the Golden Gopher coaching staff early on.

"I like Minnesota a lot right now because Coach [John] Butler, my recruiter, is just a down-to-earth kind of guy," said Lawrence. "I like him a lot. I also like Coach Brewster and just how he's recruiting me. He's their head coach and has showed me that he is really interested in me. He came down and met with all of my other coaches. I'm really interested in them."

An African American who holds a church calling within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lawrence is also interested in Brigham Young University.

"I'm also interested in BYU and they flew all the way out from the west to come visit me back when I was in high school. Coach Tidwell talked with me, and also, Coach Mendenhall has spoken to me and we've talked for a while. He said he wanted to give me an early offer and to hurry up and get me down there and everything. He said he was very interested in me. He actually told me he wants me to see what position I like. He said whatever position I enjoy the most, he would like me to play that position. Coach Tidwell came down and he said he would like to see me play tailback because Curtis Brown just left, [who is BYU's] all-time leading rusher."

So what does he think of the Cougar coaching staff's offer to let him pick the position he most enjoys?

"I really like that but I'm going to see how the season goes," said Lawrence. "This year I'm going to play free safety and tailback. I'm going to play a lot of tailback, and so I'm going to see how tailback goes to see which one I like better. I really like that [BYU] will let me decide which one I would like to play."

He is also fully aware of the standards and what is expected both on and off the field at Brigham Young University.

"Those things aren't a problem for me," said Lawrence. "I spoke to Coach Mendenhall and he was just telling me about Curtis Brown and how he was [as far as character] and everything, so abiding by church standards isn't much of a problem."

Other recruiters have made the trip to go visit with Lawrence as well.

"Temple came out, and my recruiting coach from West Virginia came out and sat with me and we talked a little bit. A coach from Pittsburgh came out and we also talked."

Lawrence may be receiving quite a bit of early attention from various universities across the country, but one thing that he is most interested in is fitting in and feeling comfortable among those around him.

"That's one reason why I want to go [visit different universities] in the off-season: to make sure I feel comfortable," said Lawrence. "If I feel comfortable [at a university] then that's probably where I'm going to end up going. Getting playing time and all that is something I'm not too worried about because I feel I can play anywhere. My main thing is feeling comfortable where I'm at, which also includes the coaches and players I'm around.

"I think after that I would have to say academics [are the next priority]. You gotta make sure that if something happens you have something to fall back on. Football is a means to a great education. I was talking to recruiters and my coach just came from the Tennessee Titans, and he was a DB coach out there. Every kid has the dream of playing in the NFL and I spoke to Coach Brewster, who came from the NFL and from the San Diego Chargers. I kind of feel the same way and have those dreams as well, but getting an education is probably the second most important thing to me. I want to get into sports management.

"I think after that [my next priority] would be [quality] facilities and being able to compete for a championship. I would like to be on a winning program."

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