Lawrence Eager for UNC Experience

Desmond Lawrence couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment as he faxed in his Letter of Intent to UNC on Wednesday.

"I've achieved one of my goals growing up," said the 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back from Charlotte (N.C.) Christian. "I've always wanted to go to college and play a sport. When I was younger, I didn't know which one that I wanted to play, but as I got into middle school I knew it was football.

"And to know I'm going to be playing for a coaching staff like [UNC's], it's just going to be a great experience for me."

Regarding UNC's coaching staff, its efforts were spearheaded by Gunter Brewer, who recruits Charlotte for the Tar Heels. Brewer last dropped by Lawrence's home early last week.

"We were just talking about signing and what I do and where I put my signature," Lawrence said. "It was humbling and I was kind of nervous because you can't mess that kind of stuff up."

There's been a lot of discussion of where exactly Lawrence fits within UNC's secondary. Those discussions will continue into preseason practice.

"They said it's going to take a training camp to see," Lawrence said. "But wherever I can get in, that's where I'll play. But right now, for my freshman and sophomore years of college, I'll probably either play nickel or corner. And then I'll probably move to safety as my body develops."

Lawrence compares his potential collegiate career path to longtime NFL standout Charles Woodson, who began his pro career as a cornerback before moving to safety.

"[Switching from cornerback to safety] is just something you have to adapt to," Lawrence said. "But the good thing about [Charlotte Christian] is they play us everywhere – that way we know every position, just like North Carolina coaches want us to know every position. I know certain things that I need to do as a safety that I technically can't do as a corner.

"I like both positions. At safety, you're more allowed to hit and that's something I like to do. I like to be known as a hard-hitter as well as making plays while the balls in the air."

Lawrence hopes to wear No. 2 into his collegiate career. No UNC player current sports that number on defense (Bryn Renner wears it on offense).

"I picked the number because I wanted to wear a single digit for at least one year in my high school career," Lawrence said. "And then I had a breakout junior year, so I figured I would stick with it my senior year because of the vibe. I hope to get some more tread out of it in college."

In mid-January, Lawrence took his UNC official visit. Unlike previous visits to the campus, he was able to spend a great deal of time with current Tar Heels.

"I got to meet a lot of the guys that aren't going to be back like K-Red [Kevin Reddick] and Gene [Robinson]," Lawrence said. "Besides the seniors, I spent a lot of time with Tim Scott and Jabari Price, who was my host, and [Eric] Ebron, and T.J. Thorpe. Every guy that I met was cool – Sam Smiley, Tre Boston – they're all great guys. It's going to be fun playing with guys like that."

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