Lawhorn hopes to move up receivers chart

True freshman J.D. Lawhorn brings all-star credentials to the Rebel wide receivers corps.

One of the new key offensive players in the Ole Miss football camp this August is freshman wide receiver J.D. Lawhorn.

The Memphis University School product committed to Ole Miss before the departure of the former staff and stuck with the Rebels when a regime change came along in December, 2004.

A first-team All-State selection as a senior, Lawhorn caught 24 passes for 677 yards, but 11 of those receptions were for touchdowns. His complete high school totals were 149 receptions for 2,189 yards and 21 scores.

The 6-foot-1, 177-pound Lawhorn spent the summer in Oxford, as did most of the new Rebels, getting ready for August camp. Now that it's here, Lawhorn says he's ready to challenge.

"It's exciting," said Lawhorn, who helped lead MUS to a state title in 2004. "I'm going to work as hard as I can to get some playing time. The receiver position is not necessarily wide open. I just need to continue to learn the plays and get my routes down, and hopefully if I do that I can be on the field my freshman year."

So far in the early-going of camp, Lawhorn has been solid. He has caught the ball well and seems to have the ability to shake the first tackler or defender and get additional yards after a catch.

Lawhorn said he worked all summer on his speed and conditioning as well as catching the football to become an even better receiver.

"I tried to learn from the older guys and also tried to get in as many reps and run as many routes as I could," said Lawhorn, also a track star in high school. "I just wanted to get back in the groove before camp strarted. And I now know more what to expect of the weight room process. It's intense and it really helps. I can already tell I'm in the best shape I've ever been just being here all summer. I can't imagine not being here this summer and just showing up for camp."

Lawhorn's parents went to Ole Miss as did several other family members, including his older brother Alex who is a junior here now. Lawhorn says being at Ole Miss and playing football is a dream come true.

"My mom told me the other day that Meet the Rebels Day was coming up, and that just made me think of the times when I was a kid that I'd come to that," said the 18-year-old Lawhorn. "I remember meeting Matt Luke at Meet the Rebels Day, and now he's one of my coaches. It's a good feeling being here. When I was little it was like a dream to do this. Now that I'm here, it is really special."

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