Being one of the most sought after players in the country, Xavier has received offers from just about every "biggie" you can name. From east to west, he's a marked man for colleges looking for a premiere defensive tackle. All this attention though has not swayed Xavier one way or another as he still says that no schools sits as one he is particularly fond of over the other. "I'm just looking around right now. I haven't narrowed my list at all."
So, if not any particular school, what type of school was he looking at I asked and gave him some actual criteria to rate between 1-10, 10 being the best as to what was the most important.
Family Atmosphere: "10."
Coaches: "About a 6"
Players: "An 8"
The fans: "A 10."
A community with lots to do: "Well, it can't be real boring, but it doesn't have to be fast paced. I can always stay in doors and play Playstation."
Weather: "I don't mind playing in the hot, the cold or the rain or whatever."
Winning tradition: "About a 10."
With his criteria aside, we focused in on the player himself. What makes him good? What makes him effective against the opposition? Start off with the measurable: 6'3", 305 lbs., benches 420, squats 595 and he runs a reported 4.88 40. Ok, so on paper, he's a monster, but he's the first to say that it isn't any of that, that defines his strength from the position. "It's my vision", Lawson-Kennedy described as his strength. "I can see it develop whether it's coming or going away from me."
Lawson-Kennedy also described his versatility as an additional boom to his already impressive attributes. "I can do it all, because I have played all of those positions", Xavier stated. "When they need a rush from the DT, I do that and when they need to stop the run, I am there. I led the team in sacks and I am a defensive tackle. I don't characterize myself like that, because I can get just as many sacks as a DE can."
As with most defensive players, Xavier has an attitude about him. Not that he's necessarily the best, but woe to those that try and show him he's not. If you are ball carrier isolated against one Mr. Lawson-Kennedy, he's only got one thing in mind for you. "I am just going to take your head off, that's all."
There isn't a clear definition of what a great player is or isn't, but you would be hard pressed to find a school that doesn't think Xavier is just that type of player. His 46 reported offers more than illustrates that point, but his potential is just the kicker in what this young standout is capable.
Though many players have decided on their schools at this point, Xavier hasn't even taken notice. His care-free and happy attitude about the whole process leaves you with a feeling that his immediate goals have taken enough room on the plate, he isn't going to add anymore. "I'm trying to make sense out of it all, but I haven't even done any research yet. I am just going off what other people say."
Sometimes though you can discover what teams a person likes by finding out what schools they watch the most. Strike three when it comes to Xavier, because he doesn't watch teams because of who they are, rather because of who's playing. "I mostly watch my friends who play", Xavier stated. One of those friends just happens to be Oklahoma stud, Tommie Harris. "He got crushed once (in a game), so I talked to him about that, but he is like a machine now, so he doesn't give me a lot of room to talk stuff to him."
It's no coincidence that players like Xavier and Tommie are friends, but don't expect any of that to have an influence on Lawson-Kennedy's final decision on where he goes. As he has said, "I'm just taking it as it goes right now."
And so shall we.
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