Milton High School (Georgia) defensive end Carl Lawson has long been considered the second-ranked prospect in the 2013 recruiting class behind Robert Nkemdiche by most recruiting outlets. Lawson (6-2, 240lbs) verbally committed to Auburn back in March, but his recruitment is still very much in play after Auburn’s 3-9 season that led to Gene Chizik’s firing. Lawson reportedly had a strong relationship with Auburn assistant coach Trooper Taylor, who was not retained by new head coach Gus Malzahn.
According to Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, new Auburn defensive live coach Rodney Garner is now tasked with making sure Lawson signs with the Tigers next month. Garner recently came to Auburn from UGA where he was in charge of recruiting for the Bulldogs. Garner took some heat when he was at UGA for not recruiting Lawson, who actually grew up a UGA fan. Some recruiting analyst have speculated that Garner’s involvement in the recruiting process may drive more of a wedge between Lawson and Auburn. “I’m not sure about Carl and Auburn, but I guess we will see,” said Lawson’s high school coach Howie DeCristofaro (via AJC.com).
Lawson doesn’t seem to be holding what Garner did at UGA against Auburn. “It never really affected me (how Garner recruited me for Georgia),” Lawson told the AJC. “I mean, it is what it is. Auburn is a program, and one coach doesn’t change the program.”
Lawson’s father Carl Lawson, Sr. played college football at Georgia Tech. Ole Miss is rumored to be a strong contender for Lawson’s services if Lawson doesn’t sign with Auburn. Ole Miss signing Lawson and Robert Nkemdiche (still has Ole Miss high on his list) would arguably be the SEC’s biggest recruiting coup in the last several years.