As ShowMeMizzou.com reported weeks ago, Lawry has been on the Missouri radar for awhile as they waited on a previous commit to make up his mind as to where he would be attending.
Lawry received his Missouri offer last weekend and was trying to decide whether to visit Mizzou or not earlier in the week and ultimately made the trip.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Wilmer-Hutchins Head Coach Elzie Barnett at length about his star cornerback to get the latest on his visit to Missouri and his overall recruitment.
" I had a really good talk with Damien. Really good,"said Barnett. "He really enjoyed himself on his visit to Missouri. He was really excited about it. He loved the campus. The academics were lovely; he wants to be a nurse and Missouri has a good nursing program, and they fit the criteria I tell kids to set before they go on a visit. That criteria is what their home life will be like. Is it a home like setting. Do they have your major, and do they fit where you want to be as a football player. Missouri wants Damien at cornerback, which is a perfect fit for him."
Coach Barnett also let me know where Lawry's recruitment is at after the visit.
" I would say he really likes Missouri. Donavan Bonner was his host and he was able to show him what Missouri is like for a kid from Dallas. In fact, Missouri has a bunch of kids from Dallas, so that was good. He is still committed to Iowa State, but he called me like three times on Saturday saying "Coach, I really like it here. I think this is where I really wanna be." But I told him that he needed to come home and talk things over with his Mom. If he wants my input then I will give it to him, but Missouri really has given him something to think about," he said.
So what are Coach Barnett's thoughts on Missouri?
"I have coached Damien for 6 years. I was his middle school coach and I want what's best for him. I want him to be happy. Coach Pinkel and Coach Walker do a great job and have done a great job recruiting him and Dallas. They will be here Monday and talk to Damien and his Mom. My nephew plays QB at Iowa State, so Damien has talked about going there and playing with him, but in the end, I want him to do what he wants to do."
Lawry received a lot of attention from some big time schools and had multiple offers early in the recruiting process. I asked Coach Barnett about that situation.
"What that was about was that some schools were not being genuine. I have another player, LaDarrell McNeil, who was heavily recruited that is going to Tennessee, so if Damien goes to Missouri, that will make that Missouri/Tennessee game really special for me. Anyway, when they were taking unofficial visits to different schools, a bunch of them thought that it would help their chances with LaDarrell if they offered Damien. Once LaDarrell committed to the Vols we saw just how serious some of them were with their offer. I told Damien that's how some schools do business,"said Barnett.
Coach Barnett spoke very highly of Damien Lawry's abilities as an athlete and a player.
"Damien has a great skill set. He is a lock up corner who is able to run with any receiver and he has great ball skills. He isn't the most physical, but with a year of good food in a college strength and conditioning program, he will be special. He is special. I have 6 D1 guys on my team right now, including LaDarrell and Damien, and Damien is the most athletic of all of them. He is universal in his abilities to play offense, defense and special teams. He played QB for us which probably hurt him a bit in recruiting, but Missouri seems to be able to see what Damien is capable of being."
Lawry reportedly had 55 tackles, 26 pass break-ups and 4 INTs his senior season.
ShowMeMizzou.com will keep you informed as Damien Lawry's recruitment continues to unfold.