Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC Football Class of 2017 Signee: DE Jake Lawler

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Enrolled at UNC in January • Member of the Scout 300 • Considered the No. 23 defensive end in the country, No. 10 in the South and No. 1 in North Carolina by Scout.com • Listed as the No. 3 player in North Carolina and the No. 8 weakside defensive end in the country • Ranked the No. 9 weakside defensive end nationally by 274sports.com • Suffered a shoulder injury in mid-November of his senior year and had season-ending surgery • Finished his senior campaign with 65 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks • Was named to North Carolina’s Shrine Bowl team, but could not participate due to injury • Recorded 216 tackles, 33 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 63 tackles for loss in three varsity seasons

LEAD UNC RECRUITER: Gunter Brewer

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RECRUITMENT: Just prior to his junior year, Lawler earned a UNC scholarship offer with his performance at a summer camp. Having parents who not only graduated from but also met at UNC, it seemed like only a matter of time before Lawler became a Tar Heel. But throughout the ensuing fall months, he also flirted with Duke. During a late January junior day, he pulled the trigger.

WHY CAROLINA: “I guess it really hit me when Coach [Gene] Chizik pulled me aside. … He brought me, my dad, and my grandpa in. He just told me blatantly, 'You are our No. 1 priority and we want you more than anyone.' That just allowed everything to culminate with how I felt about UNC. Hearing [Chizik] say that, it just brought back everything that I felt when I got that first offer. As soon as he said that, I thought, ‘This is the place for me.’ And you want to go where you’re needed, not where you’re wanted. And I’m needed and wanted, so it worked out.”

EVALUATION: Lawler is at his best when he lines up in a three-point stance, pins his ears back, and rushes the passer. There, he has the balance and agility to run the arc while using violent hands to bypass O-linemen. He was highly productive while playing in one of the most competitive areas of N.C. (i.e. Charlotte); he finished his career with 33 sacks. On and off the field, Lawler is a hard worker and a natural leader.

HS COACH QUOTES: “Jake is a special kid – not just in the way he plays, but in the way he does everything. 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.” — Rocky White, South Mecklenburg HS 

UNC HC LARRY FEDORA QUOTES: “Not only was Jake a great player, but he was a great recruiter. You have to give him a lot of responsibility for putting this class together. Because Jake did it the right way. He made a decision, fell in love with Carolina early, wasn’t worried about the hoopla of putting on the hats. He decided he wanted to make a decision and he wanted to have an impact on the guys that came in around him. So he recruited hard throughout the year and created a bond with those guys so that they would be close before they ever got here."

UNC HC LARRY FEDORA QUOTES: "Not only was Jake a great player, but he was a great recruiter. You have to give him a lot of responsibility for putting this class together. Because Jake did it the right way. He made a decision, fell in love with Carolina early, wasn’t worried about the hoopla of putting on the hats. He decided he wanted to make a decision and he wanted to have an impact on the guys that came in around him. So he recruited hard throughout the year and created a bond with those guys so that they would be close before they ever got here."

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: White passed on one other insightful tidbit: not only did Lawler grow up a Tar Heel fan and not only were his parents UNC alums, but his parents met on campus. … Read the full subscriber-only report 

http://www.scout.com/player/199916-jake-lawler?s=78

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