It is safe to say Rivals100 defensive end Carl Lawson of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton has made the most of his one season on the varsity squad. After recording 15 sacks and 31 tackles for loss in 2011, he has become one of the South's most sought-after juniors.
At last check, Lawson had double-digit offers.
"You never hear of a kid who played one year of varsity getting offers," Lawson said.
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Southern California was the most recent program to pull the trigger, joining Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and UCLA.
Before transferring to Milton last year, Lawson played mostly linebacker for the freshman and junior varsity squads at his previous school. In camps, however, he lined up at end.
"I found out I was good at it," Lawson said. "I'd do one-on-ones, and before I even knew any technique I was beating people. So I was like, 'Why can't I try it out?' When I got to Milton last summer, I told them I was a defensive end."
The 6-feet-3, 245-pound Lawson still was without an offer when he participated in the Georgia Junior Bowl in December. But one could make an argument he was among the three or four most impressive players on hand.
"I knew that was an opportunity to go against the best and beat the best, so I could show I was the best," Lawson said. "I went there to compete. Anything I do in life, I compete. I figured [offers] would come."
They did, soon after the event ended. And they haven't stopped coming.
"I'm really just getting used to [the attention]," Lawson said.
Already in 2012, Nick Saban of Alabama and Jim Mora of UCLA have stopped by his school, along with assistants from places such as Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia.
Having Saban and Mora drop in "was cool," Lawson said.
Right now, Lawson claims to have no leaders. However, Auburn and UCLA stand out.
"I can't give you a top two … but Auburn and UCLA will definitely be in the decision," Lawson said. "I've developed relationships with the coaches."
Thus far, Lawson has been to Alabama and Auburn. He will visit Florida this weekend and plans to attend the Ole Miss spring game.
"I'm going to try to narrow it down before the season so I can focus on football," Lawson said.