Roughly 20 years ago, Andy and Michelle Lawler met as students at North Carolina. The two eventually married. On Sunday, the couple watched as their son, Jake, followed in their footsteps and committed to the Tar Heels.
Lawler, a 6-foot-2, 219-pound defensive end from Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg, is the fourth four-star from the 2017 class to verbally commit to UNC – and the 2016 class won’t even sign until Wednesday. He joins J.T. Cauthen, Tyler Smith, and Jonah Melton.
Additionally, Lawler is the third in-state prospect to commit to the Tar Heels (Cauthen and Melton also hail from the Tar Heel State).
Lawler committed to UNC over scholarship offers from Duke, Georgia, NC State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
“Jake is a special kid – not just in the way he plays, but in the way he does everything,” South Meck head coach Rocky White said. “He comes to the early morning workouts. He comes to 2:30 workouts. If we had midnight workouts, Jake would be there. He’s a true road warrior in the weight room… If you had 100 Jake Lawlers, you’d go undefeated.
“He has good size. He has a fast get-off and uses his hands well.”
Lawler ended his junior season with 72 tackles, including 14 for a loss and 13 sacks.
The commitment comes a day after Lawler’s most recent visit to UNC. He attended Saturday’s junior day, which included the basketball team’s win over Boston College.