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July 21, 2013

JUCO DT commits: 'This is my family'

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AUBURN -- Georgia Military College defensive tackle Devaro Lawrence committed to Auburn after leaving his official visit to the Plains this weekend.

Lawrence's decision came just moments after JUCO receiver D'haquille Williams committed to Auburn.

"I'm a Tiger," Lawrence told AuburnSports.com. "It feels good, I feel the love. This is my family. The love and the atmosphere, this is it."

Lawrence, 6-foot-3, 280-pounds, holds offers from Auburn, Miss. State, Arizona and Southern Miss. He told the Auburn coaches of his decision on Sunday morning, telling head coach Gus Malzahn the news first.

"Everybody is excited," he said. "They're happy and I'm happy."

Lawrence was recruited to Auburn by defensive line coach Rodney Garner. Lawrence holds Garner in high regard.

"I love Coach Garner. He's my coach. Him talking to me -- that's big. He's going to be my father figure," Lawrence said.

Auburn has a need at defensive tackle after being at the bottom of the SEC in rushing defense the last two years. Lawrence believes he fills an immediate role and is ready to work hard, like right now.

"I'm ready to work and grind now," said Lawrence. "I'm going to work hard and we're going to win. They told me I can come in and play, it's an opportunity."

Lawrence's journey has been an interesting one. Two years ago, he wasn't even playing football. It wasn't until last summer that Lawrence heard about a football tryout at Georgia Military College.

He showed up, made the team, and one summer later, he's committed to Auburn. He understands the significance of the events that have transpired that landed him in this place.

"I never saw myself being in this position," Lawrence said. "I told Coach Malzahn the same thing. Never in a million years. It's an honor being in their presence."

"It changed my life forever. Everything changed since then -- everything happens for a reason."

Now, Lawrence's focus turns towards academics. He plans to graduate junior college next March and enroll at Auburn then. Lawrence redshirted last fall at GMC and will have three years to play three when he arrives at Auburn.

Twitter: @JHokanson



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