Target 2004: Dan Lawrence

ROXBORO, N.C. – A new name surfaced this week in the form of Roxboro Person center Dan Lawrence. He was a guest at UNC's Junior Day this past weekend and is considering the Tar Heels as well as N.C. State, Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest and Tennessee.

Lawrence was one of approximately 60 Carolina recruits on hand to tour the campus and facilities and meet the coaches and players.

"We ate lunch and went down to practice," he said. "I like going around and touring the campuses and seeing what each of them have to offer."

So far only the Cavaliers have made Lawrence an official offer, but according to Person head coach Mark Lunsford, "All of them say they're going to offer."

Lawrence, 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, has been a three-year starter at Person and would like to study engineering – degree programs that State and Virginia offer while UNC does not.

"But I don't have to have engineering," Lawrence said. "I could go somewhere else instead. I like the people at State and Carolina."

He says he'll just play it by ear and make his decision when he feels the time is right.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are looking forward to a 2003 season in which they will boast three Division I prospects: Lawrence, defensive end Lemartee McGhee, already verbally committed to the Wolfpack; and quarterback Brandon Smith, who is being recruited by Virginia Tech and N.C. State.

"Dan is pretty much our leader on the field," Lunsford said. "He makes all our line calls and blocking schemes, and he calls the snap counts because we are always in the shotgun. He is also our long snapper.

"Right now he's an excellent pass blocker, and he does a great job with the gun snaps," he said. "If he needs to improve on anything, strength level is where he could stand to make a big jump right now. And by the time he gets a year on the training table and in the weight room year-round, he's a kid that will play at around 290 [pounds]."

Lawrence will need to improve on his 260-pound bench press and 375-pound squat numbers during his senior season.

"Wherever he goes, after his redshirt year, I think he will definitely be a three-year starter on the offensive line."

Like Gary Merrill at Pac-6 conference rival Northern Durham, Lunsford also played for the Knights and has an excellent relationship with UNC assistant coach Kenny Browning.

"Carolina has an excellent football staff," Lunsford said. "Having played for Coach Browning – as far as knowing the game of football – no one is better with offensive line schemes. I've told Dan that I thought Coach Browning would be a good fit for him. If he were to go there, I know Coach Browning would look after him, because he looked after me.

"I don't know Coach [John] Bunting as well, but I know he's got the corner turned over there and I think he's got the program headed in a positive direction," he said. "They had a great recruiting class last season, and I know he's trying to follow that up this year."

Dan Lawrence
Height: 6-5
Weight: 260
Position: C
40-time: 5.1
Bench: 260
Squat: 375

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