Recruit to watch: DE Lawrence Jackson

Inglewood DE Lawrence Jackson could be the top defensive player on the West Coast. A polite and soft spoken, yet surprisingly talkative kid, Lawrence was a delight to chat with:

WEARESC: So Lawrence, can you give me a list of your top schools?
LJ: Well, I'm kinda locked up right now.

WEARESC: For Who?
LJ: I think I'm gonna go to UCLA……….naw, I'm just messin' around!

WEARESC: Whew, you almost gave me a heart attack! So what's really going on with you?
LJ: Well, to be honest, I'm kinda open right now, but talking with my mom, right now its looking good for me to stay home.

WEARESC: Interesting, so can you give me a list of your top five schools?
LJ: Yeah, Washington, this is in no particular order, Tenn. Az. USC, UCLA and probably Miami.

WEARESC: What do you like about USC?
LJ: Coach O.

WEARESC: What do you like about him?
LJ: Well if you're being coached by a guy with his intensity and charisma, then you can't go wrong. I went up to the practice yesterday and I liked what I saw. Its still early in the process, so I'm gonna talk to some of the players, you know it is in my backyard, so I can always go up there and talk to the guys.

WEARESC: Do you know any of the players on the team?
LJ: Because my brother was supposed to play in the CA-FLA game but he got sidelined, I got real cool with Winston Justice and Fred Matua.

WEARESC: Have you talked to them since?
LJ: Yeah, I talked to Winston yesterday and I didn't get a chance to talk to Fred, but I talked to him about a month ago.

WEARESC: What are your thoughts on Pete Carroll?
LJ: You know, he's still new at the school, so I'm gonna look at the season, and see how they do, and if they do have a disappointing season, then I would have to look to see why they had a disappointing season. With last year, they said it was cuz they didn't have enough RB's, and that is kinda true, so they reloaded and if they don't have a winning season this year, then I'm gonna have to see what the problem is.

WEARESC: So a winning season is important to you?
LJ: Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, they started slow because of the new staff, but towards the end, they really sucked it up and finished with a great run, so I guess we'll see, but I'm also looking for a school to prove to me that I'm their #1 guy.

WEARESC: Does SC give you that impression?
LJ: I mean, well I've got about a week's worth of mail right in front of me. I see Wash, LSU, LSU, USC, Mich St, WSU, Cal, Neb, Mich St.……..so SC, they're is hanging in there. People think I've been dogging SC lately, huh?

WEARESC: Well, I think that a lot of people think that you're leaning to going out of state for college.
LJ: I mean, they've proven that they're not gonna give up on me, I'ts a generous proportion, but its gotta start picking up.

WEARESC: What needs to pick up?
LJ: Yeah, you see, the stuff that impresses me, OK, with certain schools, the head coach is recruiting me personally. Now if Pete Carroll recruits me, as well as the recruiting coordinator for this area, you know Greg Burns, and coach O, then come on now, what's stopping me? If they send me hand written mail everyday, to show that they take the time to pay attention to what I'm doing, then there shouldn't be any problem. That's what I'm looking for, to see who takes the most time, and to see who's gonna show me the most love. Like Washington, Coach Kennedy writes me a hand written letter almost everyday. So I would rather have a school recruit me too hard and have me get irritated by all the letters, then not hard enough.

WEARESC: So have you talked to coach Carroll?
LJ: Yeah, I've talked to coach Carroll, I mean, I'm cool with all the coaches there, but I should have a box of SC mail just because I'm whatever, a national prospect, and they're the home school. Two times more than any other school, so if that happens, why would I go anywhere else?

WEARESC: So it sounds like you're waiting on a few things to see from USC.
LJ: Yeah. They really have to step up and prove that I'm their number one guy. Do you know how hard they recruited the Poly guys last year? They recruited them really hard. You already got them and you recruited them hard, so I think you should recruit me even harder!

WEARESC: OK, so what have you been up to this summer? Working out?
LJ: Yeah, I've got my 40 down to 4.8 and shuttle down to 4.3 and I weigh 235.

WEARESC: Any predictions for the upcoming year?
LJ: Yeah, I think I can get 40 sacks (not a misprint)
WEARESC: Wow. 40, huh?
LJ: Does it sound outrageous? Well, I've improved my strength, my quickness, my awareness, and with the people around me, I think I can do it.


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