Meet James Lawson

James Lawson has been one of the best heavyweight wrestlers in the state of New Jersey over the past two years. Lawson is also a very good football player who is looking to make an impact on a big time football program in college, in addition to a potential college wrestling career.

James Lawson made his way to Rutgers for the RU Big Man's Camp last week and had a solid showing prompting to interview him so we could know more about this compact player with huge potential.

A few years ago, two college football players took center stage in 2005 and 2006 that fit the mold of James Lawson. In 2005, Elvis Dumervil from Louisville took center stage as a 5'11" pass-rush extraordinaire and in 2006 Rameel Meekins of Rutgers became a 5'11" bulldozer leading Rutgers to their best season ever. It showed that height didn't matter as much to pass rushing and run stopping technique as a lot of college coaches thought, and showed what a wrestling background could do as far as leverage and quickness to break down offensive lineman.

James Lawson, who is 5'10" and around 280 lbs, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of other compact, or as analysts may say…"undersized", lineman who have broke onto the college scene and grown to do great things. He showed a lot of this promise at the Rutgers Big Man's Camp breaking down offensive guards and getting to the QB by using his quickness, power, drive, and leverage to manipulate those who stood in his way. His first closing step after getting past a lineman is equally as quick and impressive as his physical stature, which rivals that of a Bobby Lashley (former WWE champ and current MMA fighter).

James, who is a 2 time state champ in wrestling, has already been hearing from a bunch of colleges and has camped at a bunch of places as well. He does have an offer from Monmouth to his credit already, and his most amount of interest lies with Rutgers, Penn State, Boston College, and Virginia Tech (where his cousin played football). That rounds out his top 5 in order as well, and the school he is most interested in attending is Rutgers, out of the 5, if he gets an offer. In addition to those schools, he's also been hearing a lot from Temple University.

When talking about camps, James informed that he's already been to the Rutgers camp two weekends ago and felt he had a solid showing. He said he attended the Penn State and the Temple camps this weekend and did well enough for Penn State to express their interest in him. In the future, he's really hoping to get to go to the Virginia Tech camp if they still have one left and may look to take a trip up to Boston as well.

When we started talking about Rutgers Big Man's Camp, James said it was a very good experience for him. He said it was the only camp he's been to where he really felt he was going up against top notch competition regularly throughout the camp. He said it was nice to meet and play against other top prospects in the state (of Rutgers) to see where he is as far as his development.

When asked about the Rutgers coaching staff and his thoughts on them, James said Coach Schiano will be a great coach for him. He really felt a connection with Coach Schiano and felt he'd really help his development. He said he enjoyed learning from Coach Emanuel and he can tell he expects his players to work very hard. He informed us that out of all the coaches, he speaks with Coach Susan the most and is closest to him. He said Coach Susan is a really nice guy and is very down to earth.

Overall, James' thoughts on Rutgers have remained the same in his mind. They are still his favorite and he really enjoys it in New Brunswick and Piscataway. He feels that the coaching staff has really done an amazing job in turning the program around and "it will be on of the top ranked programs in the nation very soon."

In closing, James is focusing on improving his range on the field in the upcoming season. He said he needs to get out of the tackle box and make more plays in the open field in order to be the player he wants to become. He already has a 3.1 GPA and is waiting for his SAT score to come back to make sure he'll qualify at any college. Beyond that, he's looking forward to helping a young Manchester High School football team have a record better than .500 next year. He's also looking forward to achieving his third state championship in wrestling to finish off a stellar high school career.

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