Ole Miss senior Tight End Lawrence Lilly was watching a preseason television show a couple of months ago about the top players at each position for the upcoming college football season.
Not surprisingly, he wasn't mentioned among the top tight ends in the country.
He knew he wouldn't be, but it got him wondering why.
"I watched ESPNU with all the top players scrolling across the bottom of the screen and I wasn't one of them," said Lilly. "I did some soul-searching and realized it was all on me. In the past, I've tried to get my motivation from outside sources. Now, I finally realize you have to get motivation from within."
Lawrence, known as L.L. to his teammates, could easily be described as player who has not achieved what was predicted of him. He agrees, to a certain extent.
"This is the first summer I haven't had some kind of nagging injury, but that's not an excuse," he stated. "It's up to me to reach my potential and I have one more chance to do so.
"I set a goal this summer of doing everything I could to get better. I finally realized the coaches in the weight room aren't talking to hear themselves talk. They know what it takes. Once I got that through my head, my whole approach has changed."
Lawrence said he started focusing on doing lifts properly, heeding the advice of the pros in the weight room and listening to his inner voice that kept telling him to do more.
"Ihave changed my body for the better. My body fat is down and I'm stronger, but I'm still the same size I've been," he continued. "I feel really good about where I am as I enter my senior season.
"For a couple of the summers I was here, I took the attitude of being too laid back, thinking I needed to rest my body. I see now that was th wrong approach because when the season rolled around I wasn't in good enough shape to excel like I should have."
Lawrence, to this point, doesn't have any regrets. Why? Because he has one more opportunity to change things and leave a brighter legacy.
"I can't turn back the clock. All I can do is learn from what I've done in the past and not repeat those mistakes," he explained. "I want to be the guy whose name is scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen, but it's going to take more than talk. I have to earn it."
Lilly said he was also motivated by the rest of the players on the team and their dedication this summer.
"Everyone has given the offseason everything they have," Lilly stated. "I've never seen a team work this hard in the summer. I think last season hit everyone real hard. We know what it takes to succeed and we have to give that kind of effort or we won't be successful."
He has also been very impressed with the newcomers on the squad.
"When I was a freshman, I stayed near the back of the line and kind of watched. Not these guys. They are at the front of the line, eager to learn and do their drills. They aren't shy to step up and show what they've got," he closed. "They are all asserting themselves, doing drills the right way, blending in.
"As veterans, we appreciate their effort. We know they will work to make this team better and that makes it easier to accept them."
Lawrence Lilly came out of spring as the number three tight end on the squad according to the media guide depth chart.
He says he's determined not to stay there.
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