RECRUITING: Lawrence Wilson sets Jan 7 visit at UF

Lawrence Wilson is a new name to the Gator's list of defensive recruits. The 6-5, 235-pound speed rusher from Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary has shifted some of his focus to Gainesville after a staff shake up in South Bend sent Coach Greg Mattison to the Florida Gators. talked with Wilson early last week and got his thoughts about the possibility that he might be a Gator. <b>ALSO: Video Highlights!</a>

When Coach Mattison was at Notre Dame, Wilson was one of the top targets on the Irish defensive recruiting board. Now that Mattison is in Florida, Gators head coach Urban Meyer has taken up the cause and started recruiting Wilson.

"I talked to him [Meyer] about two weeks ago," said Wilson. "Basically he was saying they [Florida] were interested, and trying to set up a visit. I'm due there next week (January 7)."

Lawrence Wilson plays defensive end for the same high school that produced the phenom, LeBron James. There isn't much film out on Wilson, who benches more than 300 pounds and has a 600-pound squat. He finished his senior season with 77 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, eight batted passes and plenty of sacks. He says that his speed allows him to be a playmaker, but that you can't overlook his strength.

"Well, basically, I'm a speed rusher," he said. "I can fly to the ball. I run a 4.6 (in the forty), so I can really fly to the ball. I kinda feel like Jevon Kearse, where I explode up the line and attack the quarterback. If you expect my speed, I get you with my power."

Wilson lists four leaders: Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, and Notre Dame. He has Ohio State as his number one, but he's open to finding the best fit for his particular talent. It's not just football that creates the best fit, either.

"Academically it [the school] has to be really strong," he said. "I'm planning on majoring in business. Second of all, I have to be comfortable in the program [football]."

Out of the four schools on Wilson's list, the Gators are the only one not within driving distance of his home and that could factor in his final decision.

"Well, it kinda is an issue, but I think if I feel comfortable enough...but, it's definitely an issue because of how far away it is," he said.

Lawrence also said that depth charts and potential playing time would be an issue for him.

"I'm not trying to sit the bench for two or three years," he said. "I'm trying to make an impact right away. Even if I redshirt my first year, my second year I want to make an impact."

Wilson has taken official visits to Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. His upcoming trip to UF will be the fourth, but he adds that "I might take a visit to Michigan."

Based on last week's conversation, Ohio State is the team to beat for Wilson's services. Notre Dame, Pitt and Florida have undergone coaching transitions, but of the three, the Gators seem to have stabilized their situation the fastest. The fact that the Gators are ready to hit on all recruiting cylinders quickly could prove instrumental if this big time playmaker from Ohio is to be convinced to leave the north for the warmer, sunnier climate of north central Florida.

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