High School Sports

High school football previews: Ranking the top athletes in the Bi-City area--No. 4

Editor's note: They’re the most exciting players on the field. Blink, and you might miss something spectacular. In the past, football coaches tried to fit certain players into a specific mold. But the do-it-all athlete can’t be placed in a box. They’re a threat from multiple positions. This week’s preview series takes a look at some of the best athletes in the Bi-City area for 2014.

NIGEL LAWRENCE

Team: Smiths Station

Class: Senior

Ht.: 6-1

Wt: 180

Last year's stats: Offense—74 carries for 375 yards and 2 TDs, 3 of 6 passing for 51 yards; Defense—52 tackles, 2 interceptions (both returned for TDs), 8 passes broken up, 1 FR (returned for TD)

Recruiting info: Offers from Alabama A&M, Cincinnati, Furman, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Mercer, Samford, South Alabama, UAB

Why he's on the list: Lawrence is on the list because he’s a cornerback with good size and playmaking ability—just look at his three defensive touchdowns in 2013.

In addition to his impressive skill defensively, he’s an often used weapon on the offensive side of the ball, as well. He carried 74 times for 375 yards and two touchdowns a year ago. The numbers aren’t particularly overwhelming, but he was a short-yardage machine for the Panthers.

Under new coach Jason Dukes, it is unclear how Lawrence will be used as a senior this season, but whether he gets offensive touches or not, he will without doubt make his presence known.

Currently, he has a handful of Division-I offers and could see that number increase with a productive senior season.

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