As an eighth grader, Corey Lawrence looked like he could make a great high school quarterback.
But as he entered high school in Del City, it became apparent his speed and athleticism were better served elsewhere on the field.
“We knew that we had to get Corey on the field, deservedly so, and felt that we can put him on one side of the field as a 10th-grader and take that guy out and eliminate that guy from the game,” Del City coach Nick Warehime said. “We didn't want to overload him as a sophomore … we played him on one side of the ball and let him do his thing on defense and get comfortable.”
Lawrence certainly got comfortable, developing into a threat on each side of the ball and earning a spot on The Oklahoman's All-State first team.
He is on the team as a defensive back, though his eye-popping numbers came offensively this season with 19 total touchdowns. Perhaps the most impressive statistic is his 22 yards per reception.
“I just feel if I get the ball in my hand, I feel a big play is going to happen,” Lawrence said.
And plenty of big plays happened this season as he helped guide the Eagles back to the playoffs for the first time in a decade before a first-round loss to eventual champion Carl Albert.
“What really got us hyped was when we beat our rival Midwest City,” Lawrence said. “We beat them and that just got our momentum and we started beating a lot of teams that were supposed to beat us.”
Lawrence's junior season was cut short because of a knee injury, but he came back strong with the aid of a 7-on-7 camp during the summer.
“He had the ability to stretch the field and gain some confidence back from his knee from the year before and he probably wasn't really full speed until right before camp,” Warehime said.
Lawrence runs around a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, garnering interest from Oregon State, Tulsa, Kansas State, New Mexico and Arkansas State as an athlete.
The entire recruiting process has been a little shocking to Lawrence, who has only been on an official visit to New Mexico. He has scheduled visits to Oregon State on Jan. 11 and Arkansas State on Jan. 18.
“When I first started, I didn't think I was going to get recruited like this,” he said. “I mean, it's good but it's crazy.”