Peyton Manning or Batman? Batman or Peyton Manning?
Luckily for Tennessee, new head coach Butch Jones has Manning and, in the eyes of five-star recruit Carl Lawson, something better than the Dark Knight.
The 6-foot-3, 251-pound superstar defensive end out of Alpharetta, Georgia is currently committed to Auburn, but his decision wavers more and more by the day. That being said, there are two SEC schools, LSU and Ole Miss, that have been eliminated from the equation. LSU always recruits well, but the Tigers were simply not for him.
“(LSU assistant) Brick Haley talked to Carl (last week),” Milton coach Howie DeCristofaro told Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “After he left, I asked Carl ‘You interested?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know, coach. Let me think about it.’ He came back 30 minutes later and said ‘Coach, if they call, tell them no thanks. They just got in so late, and I don’t really know much about them.’”
The same goes for Ole Miss, a program that has otherwise been cleaning up on the recruiting trail.
“Carl never gave me a reason,” DeCristofaro said. “I just asked if he was going to visit Ole Miss and he said, ‘No, I don’t think so, coach.’ I didn’t really press him on why. If there was a reason, he would’ve told me.”
Clemson has long been rumored to be Lawson’s favorite after Auburn coach Gene Chizik was fired, but a new SEC team has come out of the woodwork to impress the nation’s No. 2-overall recruit.
Tennessee, who has both Peyton Manning, one of Lawson’s childhood idols and, according to the young man himself, something better than he has ever seen on film.
‘It was awesome to be able to visit a place where your idol went,’ Lawson said. ‘The best part about the visit was being able to watch so much film. I watched some of Peyton Manning, and I do not know much about quarterbacks, but then they told me they had all of the film throughout the years, and I went nuts. I ended up staying longer than I was supposed to. They had all of the best defensive linemen, and the best 3-4 pass rushers throughout all of the years on over 10 monitors, and I would watch pass rush film on Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Demarcus Ware, and I was already ecstatic. It was crazy just watching Dwight Freeney, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Derrick Thomas broken down on film with all of their moves dissected. My favorite movie of all time has to be Dark Knight, and this was like that times two.’”
National Signing Day arrives on Feb. 6. It will be interesting to see if Tennessee coach Butch Jones has any other tricks in his utility belt to bring the superstar on board.