Tre Lawson has a reputation for keeping his North Augusta High teammates loose at football practice.
With his senior season looming and the recruiting process heating up, he is working to strike the right balance between business, fun and responsibility.
“He’s got a live personality,” said Brian Thomas, head football coach and athletic director at North Augusta. “He’s at times a little kid in a big man’s body, which is good. You need to have fun. He’s starting to take on more of a leadership role. He realizes he can’t follow everybody like he’s done in the past. It’s time for him to step up. He’s done a good job of that.”
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound defensive lineman made strides this spring for the Yellow Jackets, Thomas said. The coming weeks will take on more of a recruiting focus, with Lawson wanting to make his college choice before his senior year begins.
Florida State was the first to offer Lawson in January. South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia followed later that month. The three-star recruit’s prospective college list spans two coasts, with Southern Cal coming through with an offer in February.
“I’m going to do it a little before my senior season so when I go into my season I’m going to worry about football and grades,” Lawson said. “I won’t be stressed about going anywhere every Saturday. I can just let my body rest from the game I had Friday. It will be a little bit less stressful for me and my family.”
Lawson plays the tackle spots on both lines for North Augusta, as well as defensive end. Most colleges are recruiting him for somewhere on the defensive line. Where he ends up depends on how much weight his frame can hold while maintaining his quickness.
“He’s going to be a big kid. He’s going to be 285 easy,” Thomas said. “He’s long and he’s athletic. Any time you’ve got height like he’s got, athleticism like he’s got, the college coaches really like that. I told him the day I got here that his height was going to get him looks and the rest of it was going to be up to him.”
He will make visits this summer to South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Kentucky, he said.
“I still like South Carolina,” he said. “They’re still No. 1 because of all the attention they show me and they’re right down the street.”
While the Gamecocks remain his favorite, a recent visit to Tennessee left a big impression on Lawson and his family. He hears from four different Vols coaches daily, he said. Other communication frequency ranges from Florida State every other day, the Gamecocks once or twice a week and Georgia once a week or every other week.
USC assistants Lance Thompson and Bryan McClendon stopped by during the spring, and head coach Will Muschamp communicates with Lawson at least once a week, he said.
“I like it. Nobody is really coming at me being aggressive, but everybody is showing that they want me,” Lawson said. “They’re making it fun for me.”
Colleges are sending a consistent message about how he might fit in at either defensive end or tackle, he said.
“They like my frame, they like how they can put weight on me,” he said. “They say they like my explosiveness. They say when you get here, we’re going to get you stronger, faster. They’re going to build off what I have. Once they do that they feel like I can be successful at their programs.”