Irish Fighting To Keep Wilson

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary defensive end Lawrence Wilson decommitted from Notre Dame last month, but is still strongly considering the Fighting Irish. We caught up with Wilson for the latest on his situation.

Defensive end Lawrence Wilson of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary is again being lured by Notre Dame, and likes what he is hearing.

The 6-5, 245-pound Wilson once gave a verbal commitment to the Fighting Irish, but backed out after the firing of coach Tyrone Willingham. Wilson never completely shut the door on Notre Dame, but it was believed he would go elsewhere. However, Notre Dame is making a late push to keep Wilson. Irish assistant coaches paid Wilson a visit Sunday.

"It went well," Wilson said. "It was nice. They sent all seven (assistant) coaches out."

Notre Dame is obviously coming after Wilson hard. A school usually doesn't send an entire staff to a recruit's home. Head coach Charlie Weis might have joined them, but he was in New England, coaching the Patriots to a playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

"I was really impressed," Wilson said. "Sending all the coaches out, that was impressive."

Did the crew sit around, talk football and watch the Patriots-Colts game?

"Actually, I had (basketball) practice, so they came and watched a little of my practice," Wilson said. "Then they came to my house and talked to my parents and then talked to me about everything."

Wilson, who had 77 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior, was scheduled to make an official visit to Michigan next weekend. But that might be on hold now.

"I'm not sure about Michigan," he said. "I think we're going to reschedule. I think I'll still visit them, but I'm not sure when."

Wilson is not in a hurry to make a decision, but will probably announce before Feb. 2.

"Probably the end of the month," he said. "I'm aiming at making it before signing day."

Wilson visited Florida earlier in the month and says the Gators are in a dead heat with Ohio State and Notre Dame.

"I don't really have a order, it's just close right now," Wilson said. "Close between those three. I like all three of them. Michigan is still in it too, but they're kind of in the background."

Ohio State's coaches haven't sent the entire cavalry to the Wilson home, but they do stay in close contact over the phone.

"They call about once or twice a week," Wilson said. "Actually one of the coaches called me today – (defensive line coach Jim) Heacock. It's usually either (offensive coordinator Jim) Bollman, or Coach Heacock."

The conversations are usually fairly short and to the point.

"Well basically they just check up on me, see how I'm doing, see how everything is going," Wilson said. "Basically, that's about it, just see how everything's going."

Not much football is discussed during Wilson's conversations with Heacock and Bollman.

"Not really, because we already established where they're going to put me at, so we don't talk much about football," he said.

Wilson is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds for SVSM's 10-1 basketball team. Yes, there is life after LeBron for the Fighting Irish.

Wilson is one of two seniors on the team and is enjoying what is probably his final year of basketball (has considered playing two sports in college).

"It's going pretty good," Wilson said. "Basically we're real young. Basically I'm just trying to live up to the hype. I'm just trying to lead the team and live up to the hype."

Wilson and junior guard Marcus Johnson are two of the top players in the state.

"We're playing real well," Wilson said.

But we couldn't let Wilson go without one final question about football. It sounds like he was blown away by Notre Dame's all-out recruiting blitz on Sunday, and he originally committed to Notre Dame. Common sense indicates that's where he might be leaning.

So, does Ohio State still have a realistic chance at landing Wilson?

"They're definitely still in it," he said. "Definitely."

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