CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- When the North Carolina staff first hit the road for the Spring Evaluation Period two weeks ago, it not only sent two coaches to Wake Forest (N.C.) High but one of those coaches was defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. Wake Forest, of course, is home to Dexter Lawrence, a four-star defensive tackle who is primed for a fifth star following Saturday’s performance at the Nike Opening Regional.
“It showed me how much they want me and the interest they have in me,” Lawrence said of the Tar Heels’s visit.
Chizik was accompanied on the trip by Charlton Warren, who recruits Wake County for UNC.
NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from speaking with recruits off campus during the Spring Evaluation Period. But Lawrence regularly communicates with Chizik, who has taken charge of the recruitment of the 6-foot-5, 290-pounder. Thus, Lawrence phoned Chizik following the evaluation visit.
“He just talks about their defensive scheme and their education – stuff like that,” Lawrence said. “He just talked about how they have a world class degree. So you don’t have to go anywhere out of state if that’s what you want.”
Lawrence has yet to speak with Tray Scott, who was in the process of being hired to coach UNC’s defensive line during Lawrence’s most recent visit to UNC back in March.
Lawrence, who has collected approximately 40 scholarship offers, lists UNC among his top 17 schools.
“It’s just the top 17 schools that are recruiting me the hardest,” Lawrence said. “I can’t even name all 17. Ohio State, Clemson, the in-state schools, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida, and Alabama, LSU are some of those.”
During the football season, Lawrence plans to establish a formal top ten listing. Eventually he’ll cut that list in half and then take official visits to those five schools before making a verbal commitment.
Lawrence says he hasn’t identified any schools that will remain in the hunt for the long haul.
If it appears that Lawrence is being evasive, it’s not on purpose. The combination of a seemingly bottomless list of options and a limited travel history has prevented Lawrence from gaining a grasp on his recruitment. Clemson, UNC, and NC State are the only schools he has visited.
This summer, Lawrence figures to drastically expand his recruiting miles with trips to Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Ohio State, and maybe Florida.
“I’m looking at just the education part,” Lawrence said. “I want a family oriented team. And I want a team that’s going to give me the opportunity to play as a true freshman.
Lawrence is unsure if his summer travels will include a stop at UNC – or any of the other in-state schools – since he has made several visits to the school.
“I’ll have to see how my schedule works out,” Lawrence said. “I probably will go to the Freak Show, but I don’t know right now.”
Chizik Talking with Lawrence
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