In the Fast Lane

Back in the 1980s, Carl Lane was a big-time high school running back from the San Francisco area, and was recruited by Lou Holtz when he was the head coach at Minnesota. Lane eventually signed with Oregon State. A couple years later, Lane received a call from Holtz soon after he was hired at Notre Dame.

"Coach Holtz left me a message saying, can you give me a call back," Lane said. "I was thinking, I'm going to transfer from Oregon State to Notre Dame.

"I called him back and that wasn't it. He said, there is a kid down in California, I think the world of. I met you and I want you to help me recruit him."

Holtz was referring to Braxston Banks. Lane was a couple years older, but always worked out with the future Irish fullback whenever he was home from school.

"I said of course, and Braxton ended up going up there."

Lane takes no credit in Banks' final decision, and ended up tearing his ACL his senior year of college. He was cut by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie in training camp.

In the present, Lane has a very talented son, who he didn't name after his buddy that he still keeps in touch with from time to time. But Lane was always fond of the name and went with it, with a slightly different spelling, when he became a father.

Braxton Lane is one of the top recruits in the 2009 recruiting class. The four-star receiver from Tyrone, Ga., currently holds offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Minnesota, Indiana, Mississippi State, East Carolina and Central Florida. Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Georgia Tech and Auburn are a few of the many other schools interested in the very speedy top-150 player.

"They send me letters regularly," the younger Lane said of Notre Dame. "I've been talking with them for awhile. I don't remember the coach's name, but we've been communicating through letters and emails. I'm in the process of getting film up to them.

"It has always been a school that my family has always liked. We know it's a good school with good tradition and place we've always been interested in."

It's easy to see why schools are interested in the 5-foot-11, 184-pound Lane.

At a recent combine in Atlanta, Lane clocked a 4.31 and a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. His father, now a speed coach with his own company serving prep, college and professional athletes, said that his son clocked a 4.29 three Sundays ago.

As a junior at Sandy Creek High, Lane caught 55 passes for 1,072 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was named the Fayette County Offensive Player of the Year.

"When you first watch him, his speed is going to be a big thing that catches most people's eyes," head coach Chip Walker said.

"He's fast, that's what it boils down to," Walker continued with a laugh. "Not only that, he does all the things you need in a wide receiver. He catches the ball really well, and he runs well after the catch. Very seldom is he tackled by one person after the catch. He breaks tackles and makes moves. He's not the tallest guy in the world but he plays big, he goes up after the ball."

Lane met Banks while he lived in California, but he moved to the East Coast in 2000 and hasn't seen him since. He'd like to take a look at the campus where Banks played football at.

"It'd definitely be a place I'd consider visiting, and I'm definitely interested in them."

Lane is also getting plenty of attention for his talents on the baseball diamond. A centerfielder, he hit .416 with 30 stolen bases as a sophomore.

"I get letters for baseball like I do for football.

"That is definitely something I'm going to have to think about over the next year, but right now I plan on playing both in college."

Lane reported a bench press of 305 pounds, and a squat of 430 pounds. He has been to Georgia Tech, Clemson and Auburn for junior days. He also went to Death Valley, Duke and North Carolina for football games during the season. Lane hasn't set a timetable for when he'd like to make a college decision, just whenever a program feels right.

"I'm from California so staying around here is not a big thing," Lane said. "I'm not looking for a place in a big city or a rural town, just a place I feel comfortable. Somewhere I can live for the next four or five years. I want to go to a place that wins and I have a possibility of playing early."

One obstacle that Notre Dame may have in offering Lane a scholarship is his 2.4 GPA. However, he has really bounced back academically from his freshman year, and has already scored a 23 on the ACT.

"My ACT score helped out, and I'm taking some extra academic classes, and over the next year I'm trying to get my GPA up," Lane explained. "I always tested well, and when I was a freshman, I took gifted classes. I made good grades throughout middle school, and when I got to high school and playing varsity sports, I kind of put that over my school work and got behind. That kind of put me in the hole."

"His GPA doesn't reflect his academic ability," Walker added. "He is working to get it up and I think it will be up."

Lane's father isn't the only one to have success in football past the prep level. His grandfather played and coached at Utah State. His uncle MacArthur Lane was a Pro Bowl running back that played 10 years in the NFL. His cousin Eric Lane played running back for seven years with the Seattle Seahawks. Top Stories