Orie Lemon is impressive in and out of pads.
The filled out Lemon (6 feet 2, 220 pounds) is not cocky, but has a presence. The Houston Yates product would be a leader if he were a 120-pound kicker. He has a personality that is not loud and boisterous but easy-going and humorous.
He's just cool to be around, unless you are an opponent.
"He threw an interception in a scrimmage, ran down and annihilated that kid," Yates defensive coordinator Jeff Ceasar said. "He's the real thing."
But what is he?
The rumor was that Lemon was only fielding offers from schools that wanted him at quarterback.
"That hasn't been decided yet," he laughs. "That is not really a major factor. I just want to go somewhere where I can get on the field early at any position."
If any school can do a sales job on him to play linebacker, they would have a defender with speed, size, motor and leadership to lead a defense. In pads, Lemon is a man among his HISD counterparts. He is the city's largest district's number one recruit, just ahead of Madison's Donnell Williams.
While his first offer came from Texas, the Longhorns are not on his early list of top favorites. Arkansas, LSU, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Southern California made the list. Lemon did unofficially visit Arkansas while visiting family and enjoyed the campus.
"I don't really want to stay in state and being close to home in not really a big deal for me," he said.
Lemon's family has a legacy at Yates with Orie's older brothers starring for the Lions. Besides living up to the family name, Lemon shoulders the weight of being the beacon of the neighborhood that nearly lost its tradition-rich school to poor test scores. Yates has taken some shots academically and Lemon and the football team have helped cushion the jabs.
"I don't really feel the pressure of the neighborhood but I know it's there," he said.
As smooth as this inner city kid is, it really doesn't show.