Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle’s Landing senior Shawanye Lawrence will play several positions this season, including fullback, tight end and linebacker.
Shawanye Lawrence has gone toe-to-toe with one the greatest high school wrestlers in the state.
He has medal at the state track and field championship in the shot put and discus events.
This fall, the standout Eagle’s Landing football player has only one wish when he and his teammates take to the field this season.
“I want to go out a winner,” Lawrence said. “I want to lead this team to a championship.”
For all his other sports accolades, Lawrence’s team hasn’t experienced much success on the football field. This is the season he looks to change the Golden Eagles’ losing ways.
“I think if we come together as a team, we will be successful,” said Lawrence, a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder.
Despite being a standout in three sports, and having great athleticism, Lawrence is a little puzzled that he hasn’t attracted attention from more colleges. Last season, he had 72 solo tackles, 38 assisted tackles, 11 tackles for losses and seven sacks has he made the transition from defensive end to linebacker.
As an offensive lineman, he graded out at 96 percent, and did not give up a sack.
Yet, only Fordham, Georgia State and Tennessee State have made scholarship offers to Lawrence, who finished runner-up in the discus and third in the shot put at state.
“It’s been a little frustrating, but it keeps me grounded,” Lawrence said. “I know they (scholarships) will come if I work hard. I just have to go out and prove myself.”
Eagle’s Landing coach Joe Teknipp said Lawrence missed a couple camps this summer because of illness. But still, the coach is not sure why some of the bigger schools are not after his versatile player.
This season, Lawrence will play some at fullback, tight end and inside linebacker. Teknipp said Georgia Tech still has interest in Lawrence, but the school has limited scholarships to offer this incoming class.
“Looking at the top programs, I think he can play at that level,” Teknipp said. “He is just as good as those players. He is just waiting on his opportunity.”
Lawrence, who has a 3.2 grade-point average, is still getting comfortable with the linebacker position after playing several years at defensive end. Teknipp already sees a lot of improvement this season.
“Last season was his first on his feet,” Teknipp said. “He has made a lot of progress. I think he is becoming comfortable.”
Lawrence says it has taken some getting use to.
“Making the transition was hard at first, but I just kept working on it,” Lawrence said. “The big thing is that I stopped thinking and just played. I really liked playing with my hands down on the ground, because it was more of a challenge to go up against those guards and tackles.”