Lawrence Looking to Trim List

Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, the top prospect in N.C. and a Top 10 recruit nationally, hasn't been able to visit many campuses of late -- but he's been to UNC three times this year.

WAKE FOREST, N.C. --- To get a better grip on his nationwide recruitment, Dexter Lawrence planned to use the summer to visit several schools. However, just a trio of programs ended up actually hosting the five-star defensive tackle.

“I’ve only been to Alabama, [North] Carolina, and [N.C.] State,” Lawrence said. “But I think around the 21st/22nd I’m going down to Clemson. And then I’m going to take some other visits during the season.”

When pressed for other possible future destinations, Lawrence could only produce Georgia.

The lack of summer visits have made it difficult for Lawrence to establish a list of favorite schools – especially when you consider the 6-foot-5, 330-pounder is walking around with 40-50 scholarship offers. However, a few programs have essentially eliminated themselves.

“Some schools kind of stopped [recruiting me],” Lawrence said. “So it’s not too overwhelming, but I’m just taking it slow right now.”

After a deep breath and delivering a “there’s a lot of them” disclaimer, Lawrence rattled off Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss, UNC, NC State, Ohio State, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee, UCLA, and Virginia Tech as programs that have continued to recruit him hard.

“It’s just an honor, because they see how hard I’m working out here with my team, putting in the work every day [and] every morning, and just enjoying the game and playing it for my mom,” Lawrence said.

Reggie Lucas has not only built Wake Forest into an in-state football powerhouse, but the Cougars head coach has sent countless prospects into the FBS ranks.

“[Lawrence] and Bryce Love are definitely the two most highly recruited players I’d had here,” Lucas said. “When you talk about what a college coach is looking for, they’re looking for kids like Dexter. Dexter is 6-5, 330 pounds, quick, aggressive – what more do you want out of your linemen? He’s definitely brought every school in America by Wake Forest.”

Accepting the fact that a large group of schools will continue to recruit the nation’s tenth best recruit until he eliminates them, Lawrence is considering trimming his list of options to a more manageable number within the next two months. He says no school is safe to make the cut.

“I just want to go with what fits me best [and] fits my play style,” Lawrence said. “The education part is big and getting an opportunity to start.”

Lawrence is looking at a Signing Day decision.

When he visited Alabama in mid-July it was his inaugural trip to Tuscaloosa.

“I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know,” Lawrence said. “It really impressed me.

“And it was just fun. I just hung out with the players and some coaches.”

On the other hand, Lawrence’s UNC summer visit was his third to the school in 2015. That trip was for Fedora’s Freak Show as a spectator. While other visiting recruits were drawn to the special atmosphere of the Freak Show, Lawrence says the “flash” had zero impact on him. Instead, he focused on Tray Scott’s coaching style

“I saw the D-line coach teaching a lot of the things that I’m learning out here [at Wake Forest],” Lawrence said. “The way he wants you to perfect it, I liked that a lot. He’s into his coaching.”

Outside of visits to UNC, Lawrence keeps in regular contact with Tar Heel coaches Gene Chizik and Charlton Warren.

“They just tell me to keep coming up there, build a relationship with the new D-line coach, build a relationship with them, and seeing what they have to offer to me,” Lawrence said.

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