TJ Lawrence was somewhat of an unknown receiver at the beginning of his recruitment. Through camps such as Florida’s Friday Night Lights, the 6-2, 191-pound receiver has reached Under Armour All-American status. The ESPN All Star game has given him the opportunity to show that he belongs with the nation’s elite.
The 6-2, 191-pound frame is a new addition to Lawrence’s game since his season has ended.
“I’ve been trying to put weight on, but not too much,” Lawrence said. “I’ve still got to run.”
The scariest player the Lakeland Kathleen prospect has seen on his side of the practice field is Gator safety commitment, Dee Finley. Lawrence talked about catching a pass across the middle with Finley in the area.
“It’s kinda scary,” Lawrence laughed as Finley walked behind him. “He hasn’t taken my head off just yet.”
Plenty of onlookers have been impressed with Lawrence’s fluidity at the wide receiver position this week. He agrees that his week is going well, but there is always room for improvement.
“Everyone is saying that I’ve been playing good,” Lawrence said. “I’ve dropped a couple but I’m happy.”
You’ll find Lawrence playing slot receiver for Team Click-Clack on Saturday. A relief for him is that he won’t face Brandon Harris, who has been tormenting receivers all week. Florida State commitment Terrance Parks has also impressed Lawrence.
“(Harris) knows your every move,” Lawrence said. “He knows exactly what you’re going to run for some reason. Parks jammed me the other day. I still owe him one for that.”
The hotel experience was been fun for Lawrence. His roommate has been Jacksonville running back Jamie Harper. The sleeping habits for the two prospects couldn’t be more opposite.
“Jamie loves to sleep,” Lawrence laughed. “I’ve got to wake him up every morning to be on time. I’ve got to jump on the bed sometimes to get him up.”
Lawrence maintains the same top three schools in Florida, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. He already has taken his official visit to Virginia Tech. The two remaining visits are to Florida on January 11 and South Carolina on January 18. He expects a decision to come shortly after the South Carolina visit.
Florida- “The spread offense is great. It’s sort of like the one we use in high school.”
South Carolina- “Spurrier likes to spread the ball out. He likes to pass it and shows that he will play his freshmen.”
Virginia Tech- “They’re junior corners are going to the NFL and if I go there I’d play corner,” Lawrence said. “They’ve also got a lot of senior receivers though, so I could play whichever I want.”
Recruits are usually swayed one way or another during these All-Star weeks by commitments from other schools. Lawrence has spoken to plenty of Gator commitments, especially Dee Finley, and is yet to speak with the only South Carolina commitment at the Under Armour Game, cornerback Charles Whitlock.
“There are a lot of them here,” Lawrence said. “I’m surrounded by a lot of Gators this week. Dee talks to me all the time. After I catch the ball he always talks about taking me out. But he knows I’ve been killing him out there.”
Lawrence is one of the top athletes in the nation this year. The fact that a top national defense like Virginia Tech would want him to play at cornerback or safety proves that. Lawrence prefers to play receiver though, as he loves to get the ball in his hands.
And the Gators would love to help him out with that.