MATTHEWS, N.C. --- Devon Lawrence recently finished mulling through his collection of scholarship offers to assemble a top five schools list. The list consists of Clemson, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, and UCLA.
"They were just communicating with me the most," Lawrence said. "Talking to their coaches, I just felt like I'm already on the team."
Among those five, Lawrence, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back from Wake Forest (N.C.) High, has perhaps made the most visits to nearby UNC.
"I've known a couple of the coaches there for a long time," Lawrence said. "Coach [Larry] Fedora is still there and I have a good relationship with him."
DeAndre Smith, who holds possibly the most consequential spot on UNC's staff as far as Lawrence is concerned, is one Tar Heel coach who Lawrence hasn't known a long time. Smith became UNC's running backs coach in late February. Since then, Smith has attempted to establish a bond with Lawrence.
"He's a pretty cool dude," Lawrence said. "He's down-to-earth and chill. I like him."
However, Lawrence says it's too early to classify his relationship with Smith.
"We just started a relationship," Lawrence said. "We'll just have to see how time goes."
Now that he has a top five, Lawrence will look to visit those schools both unofficially and officially to formulate his college decision. None of his trips have been scheduled.
In between time, Lawrence will make a pit stop at Nike headquarters. A week ago, his performance at the Charlotte Nike Opening Regional earned him an invitation to the Opening Finals in late June/early July.
"I'm just excited," Lawrence said. "To come out and just preform against all these good athletes. I bet it was hard for the [Nike] coaches, because there were so many good athletes out here.
"But, this was my ultimate goal. I'm very excited to go out to Oregon."
Heading into his visit schedule, Lawrence says none of his top five are ahead of its mates. That includes Clemson, where his brother, Dexter, is a standout defensive tackle.
Lawrence adds that Clemson doesn't have any sort of advantage. Furthermore, his brother doesn't recruit him for the Tigers.
"He just says just go where it's the best fit for you," Lawrence said.
As a junior, Lawrence helped guide Wake Forest High to an undefeated season and its first state championship (in NC's highest classification, no less). He led the Cougars in rushing (1,533 yards and 25 touchdowns).