DE Lawson gets Christmas call from Garner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) has been committed to Auburn since March. After Gene Chizik was let go and replaced by former Tigers offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn earlier this month, schools lined up to try and get Lawson on campus. If he had his way he would oblige as many of his suitors as possible.

“I would like to visit Clemson, Tennessee, FSU, UCLA, USC, UNC and Ole Miss, but realistically the five I visit might be Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss, UNC and USC,” Lawson said.

The coaching changes have yet to affect where he stands with his recruitment.

“I am committed to Auburn,” Lawson said. “Ever since the staff movement I have just been reevaluating them.”

That involves getting to know former University of Georgia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner. Much has been made of the lack of an offer from the Bulldogs, and how Garner’s presence at Auburn might affect his commitment.

“I would like to set the record straight on Georgia and Garner,” Lawson said. “Todd Grantham came to my school, at which point I was already committed to Auburn. I told them because I was already committed that I was not interested in Georgia.”

Lawson recalls his first phone call with Garner since being hired at Auburn, which interestingly enough came on Christmas.

“My phone rang on Christmas and I saw it was from Auburn so I answered,” Lawson said. “It was Rodney Garner and he just told me about his career. It was nothing out of the ordinary. He was just telling me about who he was and what they are trying to do up there.”

The No. 2 prospect in the country says the addition of Garner should boost recruiting for Auburn, but he is still checking out his history of developing pass rushers in a 4-3 defense.

“Rodney Garner has great credentials, so if anything he is going to help the program at Auburn,” Lawson said. “They need an elite recruiter after losing Trooper Taylor. I do not know about him as a 4-3 defensive line coach because I have not done the research on that yet.”

As for when he will know his final decision, Lawson does not expect a big ceremony.

“I am not going to have some big announcement on signing day,” Lawson said. “I will just call the coaches from my house with my family and that will be it.”