The Queen City will once again be a main area of focus in recruiting for the class of 2013, and one Charlotte prospect that is already in early contact with the Duke coaching staff is defensive back Desmond Lawrence from Charlotte Christian School.
Although Charlotte Christian was knocked out in the first round of the state playoff, Lawrence's junior season was a major success. Playing both sides of the ball, Lawrence finished the year with over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns on offense, while registering three interceptions and four pass break-ups on defense.
Lawrence's success on the gridiron has made him one of the most coveted 2013 recruits in North Carolina. He has early offers from NC State and South Carolina, and is in constant contact with at least ten other schools, including the Blue Devils.
Lawrence has visited Duke's campus three times in the past year, including once for a game.
"I went to their summer camp, their Junior Day, and their game against Virginia Tech," Lawrence said of his trips to Durham. "On my trip for their game, I went down and talked to Coach Cutcliffe and then just we watched the game. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to talk to him after the game, but I talked to him a lot before the game started."
Having a sense of familiarity with the Duke program has made it easy for Lawrence to develop a strong relationship with the Blue Devil coaching staff. "I stay in touch with Coach (Derek) Jones and Coach (Matt) Lubick a lot. I've sat in a defensive meeting when I visited the campus and you can tell that they aren't putting on an act. I got to see how I would be treated at Duke."
Lawrence has watched a couple of Duke's games this season and says that he can see that the team is making improvement.
"They're becoming better as each game goes along. Duke in the past has been known as a slouch, but now they are asserting themselves in the ACC, which is really good."
Despite the obvious interest in the Duke program, Lawrence states that he does not currently have any favorites in his recruitment. However, he did state that the five schools currently recruiting him the hardest are Florida, UNC, Duke, Virginia and NC State.
So what pitch is the Blue Devil staff using to try to persuade him to come to Durham?
"They are just pitching education as well as football, which is why I still have interest in them. An education like that can get me anywhere in life."
Lawrence hopes to have his decision out of the way before the start of his senior season, and says that he will definitely make his college choice before his senior season is completed.