2013 3-star defensive tackle Tevin Lawson has committed to TCU, which is a great choice by the talented recruit.
Lawson checks in at 6'4'', 275 pounds, and he's ranked as the No. 13 player from the state of Louisiana, according to the 247Sports Composite. He's going to be a big-time player for the Horned Frogs, and he represents a very big commitment for them.
Here's how his high school head coach explains his potential, per a report from Jeremy Clark of Scout.com:
Nettles told HornedFrogBlitz.com on Tuesday of the type of player Lawson is.
“His upside is his body is something you just don’t get. When he was in the weight room with shoes on he was 6-5, 285 at TCU the other day,” Nettles said. “He’s got really good feet and a good frame; if you look at him you’d think he’s 250. He’s going to add 20 pounds of muscle and be able to run a 4.9 or 5-flat and be a 300-pound guy inside. His potential, you just don’t have many guys with that body type that are athletic and can run and be so explosive. He played a lot of left tackle on offense, if he was 6-6 he probably could’ve stayed at left tackle.”
I can see how some would question why turning down LSU—arguably one of the best college football programs in the country—would be a smart move. While to the untrained eye it may seem like a step down to go from LSU to TCU, there are a variety of factors that make this the right decision on paper.
First is the fact that LSU did a great job of recruiting on the defensive line in 2013. So while Lawson would have been another solid addition for the Tigers, he would have a steep hill to climb in regards to the depth chart at LSU.
Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson should be the guys for LSU for 2013, but the Tigers were also able to sign 4-star defensive tackle Greg Gilmore, who has superstar potential, and 4-star Maquedius Bain, who checks in at 6'3'', 308 pounds. The Tigers are really set at defensive tackle, so Lawson would essentially be looking at a backup role where he would rarely see snaps on game days.
While TCU also has great depth in addition to a very strong defensive line front, Lawson has the size to come in and be a big-time backup right away. In time he could compete for starting minutes once Chucky Hunter moves on. Lawson could also challenge Davion Pierson for snaps. Overall, Lawson could be featured a little bit more at TCU, where at LSU he would be one of a few great defensive linemen.
The other big factor here was that LSU wanted Lawson to grayshirt, according to Clark's report:
The Tigers approached Lawson late in the process about the possibility of accepting a grayshirt offer. Two days before signing day, Lawson opened his recruitment back up.
While some may advocate for grayshirting as a good option, I would argue that taking the scholarship offer from TCU, getting into the program right away and not having to pay for that first semester of college on your own is actually the smarter option—even if it means turning down the chance to play at LSU.
It's not as if TCU doesn't have a good football program, and the Horned Frogs are very strong defensively. In the end, Lawson still has the chance to make an impact on a good defense, and he'll play in some meaningful games.
In the meantime, he won't have to take the risk of grayshirting, he'll get the benefit of being a full-time student on a scholarship right away (which is huge from an education standpoint), and he'll be an official member of the football team—with his spot on the roster intact.
I can't blame a kid for choosing that route, because it's actually the smarter way to go.
For the Horned Frogs, this is a big pickup. For LSU, all the Tigers can do is tip their cap and wish him the best of luck.
Either way, it was the smart move by Lawson.