"He has a lot of potential. He's got a great frame and can really be built on it. He just started working hard [in the weight room] right now – he's probably doubled his strength already from last year."
Dixon is receiving interest from Clemson, Louisville, Minnesota, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and UCLA.
Sam Pittman, UNC's area recruiter, recently inquired about Dixon.
"Carolina called last week – we told them about him, they knew about him," Stone said. "Coach Pittman is real good friends with my father – he's a real nice guy… I think he is going to be through next week to take a look at our guys – Lawrence in particular, but we have a couple of other guys they're interested in also."
In addition to Dixon, Byrd boasts Division I-A prospects in linebacker Kameron Davis, tight end Kenneth Short, and offensive lineman Jenard Whitfield.
Like most schools, UNC has invited Dixon to its camp.
"They want to get him in camp and they want to see him – that's where they do their main evaluations," Stone said. "If you have a good camp, normally they'll offer you."
Dixon plans to attend several camps this summer. UNC, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are likely destinations.
Dixon's recruiting stock gained a major boost recently when he attended the Nike Combine held in Charlotte three weekends ago.
"Since [the Nike Combine], I've started to receive letters from Louisville – they said they're really interested - Clemson, Minnesota, and UNC," Dixon said.
On the slow surface of the Crickit Arena, which held the Nike Combine, Dixon ran a 5.00-second 20-yard shuttle and a 5.66-second 40-yard dash. He was one of 25 participants to be named to ESPN's All-Combine Team – roughly 990 recruits worked out.
"I felt pretty good with myself afterwards," Dixon said. "I think I could use a little bit more training on running the forty, but I did really well with my shuttle."
Dixon was originally put on the recruiting map by a separate event he attended nearly a year ago.
"I took him to a one-day [camp] in Raleigh last year – the Adidas Combine," Stone said. "He hadn't played a down for us and he started getting letters [from colleges]."
Dixon received his first recruiting letters – from NC State and South Carolina – early last fall. NC State eventually invited him to last season's football game against Miami, which he accepted. South Carolina, which is sending Dixon the most letters, invited him to its recent junior day, but he was unable to make the trip.
Two South Carolina schools are early favorites for Dixon.
"South Carolina and Clemson – those two really spark my interest," Dixon said. "I saw a South Carolina game when I was eight years old and that has stuck with me."
Dixon started high school at Western Harnett, where he played on the offensive and defensive line for the junior varsity team.
A couple of weeks into his sophomore year, Dixon moved to Fayetteville and transferred into Byrd. Already missing practice time and games, Dixon succumbed to his mother's persistence and joined Byrd's band.
The following offseason, Dixon approached Russell Stone, Byrd's head football coach, about joining the team.
"I just loved the sport and I believed I could have a great career," Dixon said. "I missed it – I missed the intensity and coming off the line."
Looking at Dixon's frame, the elder Stone quickly welcomed him to the team. Dixon went on to join his new teammates in spring training.
Dixon, though, would spend the season as an offensive line reserve.
"We were so darn good [on the offensive line] and we were already big and we had four [offensive line starters] that came back from the year before," Stone said. "It was just the situation."
"He just wasn't quite strong enough and his technique wasn't good enough yet. He was big enough, but we really didn't have a chance to work on much of [his technique].
"Of course, you're going to feel down about it, because you didn't play as much as the other guys," Dixon said. "That kind of messes with you a little bit. But you have to be mentally strong. It helped that I knew I had another year left."
Byrd posted a 12-4 record and reached the NCHSAA 4A state title game. However the Eagles lost to crosstown rival Seventy-First High, 28-7, in the championship contest.
"It was great, even though I was on the sidelines," Dixon said. "I still rooted on my team."
Dixon benefited from Byrd's title run. With each playoff win, Byrd's football squad received an additional week of practice. Reaching the championship game gave Byrd a total of six extra weeks of practice.
"It really helped him and his development," Stone said.
Heading into the coming season, Byrd will graduate one starter from its offensive line – Terance Cartrette, a three-year starter who signed with Fayetteville State. Dixon is expected to fill that vacancy.
"He should step right in and fill in," Stone said. "I really think he's going to have a big year for us."