January 18, 2012

Junior DE intrigued by new hire

University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart stopped over in Alpharetta, Ga., on Tuesday to check in on a pair of 2013 Peach State prospects, Carlos Burse and Carl Lawson.

At Milton High School, the meeting with Lawson was brief but helpful. The trio got a chance to talk about the recent Georgia Junior Bowl as well as some of the coaching changes that Alabama has made in the last week.

"It was a nice visit," Lawson said. "It was just a quick little talk. As most people can tell, Coach Saban is very, very serious. We talked about me at the Rising Seniors game, what players I thought were good, my height and weight, family life, the coaching staff up there and how they want to get me in for a junior day."

One of the expected new additions to the Crimson Tide coaching staff is a coach that Lawson is already familiar with. UA's new defensive assistant Lance Thompson served as Lawson's main recruiter when he was at Tennessee.

"I talked to Lance a lot at Tennessee," Lawson said. "That's why Tennessee was one of my interested schools, but he left there. That helps Alabama extremely because that was the only person at Tennessee who paid me any attention."

Thompson also has a strong relationship with Lawson's family from his days when he was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. He coached Lawson's uncle when he played for the Yellow Jackets and also knew his dad from his time in Atlanta.

"He used to train my uncle when he was at Georgia Tech," Lawson said. "He was in the NFL for a couple years, and Lance used to train him when he was at Georgia Tech. He trained him at defensive end/outside linebacker, that hybrid position."

Lawson, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior, wants to play that same hybrid position when he gets to the next level and is intrigued by the Crimson Tide's Jack position. Thompson is expected to coach that spot next year for Alabama.

"I like that position specifically because you get the best of both worlds in that 3-4 defense," Lawson said. "It's just fun. It mixes defensive end and outside linebacker, which I really, really like."

Vanderbilt also came by to see Lawson on Tuesday, and he was expecting Clemson to be there today. He says Auburn and UCLA may be on the verge of offering and expects an offer from the Crimson Tide in the near future.

Lawson plans to visit Tuscaloosa soon for one of Alabama's junior days.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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