Don Callahan/Inside Carolina

DE UNC Commit Jake Lawler Targeted Nick Brahms & Jalen Holston on Official

Surprise, surprise. Lawler spends much of official visit weekend attempting to add to UNC's class.

Although he was one of North Carolina's seven official visitors this past weekend, UNC pledge Jake Lawler felt the experience was surprisingly intimate.

"It still felt personal," Lawler said. "Like, it still felt catered to you.

"But, at the same time, you're also doing a lot of stuff with guys you're going to enroll with -- or who are hopefully going to commit or flip. It was good to build those relationships."

Unsurprisingly, Lawler, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end from Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg, took it upon himself to help recruit for his future school. His targets, of course, were the two non-UNC commitments, Nick Brahms and Jalen Holston.

"I talked to them a little bit about what Carolina can do for them," Lawler said. "And just helped them relax and give them a good time."

Lawler says he didn't get a sense of UNC's odds with either prospect. That's because he focused on keeping conversations personal in an attempt to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

"I think that they both really liked it," Lawler said. "I think that they're really impressed by the entire situation, just in terms of the university and how we carry ourselves and the place and the coaching staff."

A knee-jerk reaction by some fans is that the outcome of Saturday's game -- a sloppy 34-3 loss to Virginia Tech played amid Hurricane Matthew -- would neutralize the official visit experience for Brahms and/or Holston. Lawler doesn't believe that was the case.

"I can definitely see how it could be a cause for concern, especially with Jalen being a UNC-VT battle," Lawler said. "But, they're both smart people. They both understand that things happen and sometimes [teams] lose games. We were all talking about it and they both knew that weather was definitely a factor."

Lawler's overall recruiting prowess hasn't been lost on Larry Fedora. In fact, it was the main topic of conversation during their Sunday meeting.

"He just told me, 'You've done a great job recruiting. You're really important to this class,'" Lawler said.

Additionally, Lawler met with Tray Scott, UNC's defensive line coach, on Sunday. However, their encounter was more football-centric.

"We had like a mock position meeting and I guess I surprised him by my knowledge about the defensive end position," Lawler said. "He said the 'quick end' is what they're going to have me at first. But, he said once I get more knowledgeable and understand the schemes and I put on more weight I could play the 'power end,'  as well. That's because of the whole situation with Tomon [Fox] of how good he is and how good he's going to be. If I turn out that way, it would be good to have us on both sides."

Along those lines, Scott believes there's a good chance that -- like Fox -- Lawler sees the field as a true freshman.

Throughout his official visit, Lawler was hosted by student assistant Caleb Samuel and freshman defensive end Nolan DeFranco. Since Lawler has made countless prior visits to UNC, Samuel and DeFranco primarily reiterated what Lawler has previously saw and learned.

"I was just asking questions about how they liked it, what are they going to do, was graduating early the right choice -- stuff like that," Lawler said.


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