Lawson atop Tennessee's board

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For years some of the best teams to ever dawn the Orange and White have been laced with athletes from the state of Georgia. The Peach State produces some of the most talented prospects in the country and the class of 2013 is no different.

Take for example, four-star defensive end Carl Lawson. A 6-foot-2, 245-pounder, Lawson is the perfect blend of size and speed and is raking in offers from around the country.

Lawson already claims offers from Alabama, Auburn, California, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Washington.

While Tennessee is listed as one of the schools among the leaders, it is Auburn that is out front early for the Alpharetta, Ga., native.

"Right now Auburn is my leader," Lawson told InsideTennessee. "I just love the coaching staff, the atmosphere and everything there.

"I have been talking to Auburn a lot, but I am still open right now. It is too early to make up my mind. Also, I have heard a lot from UCLA, Tennessee and Florida."

"I actually found out that I am the No. 1 outside linebacker recruit on (Tennessee's) board."
-Carl Lawson
Lawson was originally scheduled to visit Rocky Top March 10, but didn't end up making the trip due to a transition in Tennessee's coaching staff when recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph left Derek Dooley's staff for a position at Nebraska.

"I am definitely going to try and get up there soon," Lawson said. "It was just a crazy transition. I had scheduled a time to be up there with Coach Joseph, but he went to Nebraska and that kind of switched things up."

The No. 17 defensive end in the country, according to, is now scheduled to visit the Vols on March 31 and looks forward to meeting his new recruiters — new defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley and defensive coordinator Sal Suneri.

"I really like talking to coach Sunseri," Lawson said. "I just want to get to meet Coach Sunseri and Coach Ansley in person and get to know them a little bit better. They really loved my film and I want to learn more about Tennessee."

In fact, the Tennessee coaches liked Lawson's film more than any other prospect in the country, but not at the defensive end position.

"I actually found out that I am the No. 1 outside linebacker recruit on their board," he said. "I was really excited to hear that from the coaches. I don't really care that it is outside linebacker, you still rush the quarterback."

One thing that Lawson says will be crucial in his recruitment is people, but not necessarily the coaching staff.

"I actually went to Tennessee for a camp as a sophomore and I really liked it there," he said. "I liked the people and everything like that. The one thing that really matters is the campus and the people at a certain school because you never know how long a coaching staff is going to be there. The people have to be a big part of the decision-making process."

Lawson completed his junior season with 87 total tackles, 31 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks playing for Milton (Ga.) High School in the GHSA Class AAAAA division. The junior claims a 2.4 GPA and plans to take his first ACT in May.

Chris Price is a staff writer for He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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