Garfield Lawrence's coach breaks down commitment
The Kansas staff just landed a big commitment from Garfield Lawrence. The defensive end from Texas had several offers before announcing for the Jayhawks on Monday.
We spoke with Joe Willis, who is the head coach at Tyler Legacy High. Willis completed his first year as the head coach and talks about Lawrence.
Here is our Q&A with Willis.
Talk about Garfield as a player and what you took away from coaching him.
This is my first year here. So, right before I got here Covid-19 hit. We went right into quarantine, but I was around Garfield for about three weeks and I could already tell and he was going to be a dynamic player.
His junior season he played some spot time, had come on in some pass rush situations and I knew he could be a every down player. And of course, he's turned in to every bit of that, and what I thought he would be. He's got tremendous upside in terms of he's just now beginning to really grow and mature. I think he'll end up adding another 30 to 40 pounds, when it's all said and done.
He's a guy that wants to do it right. When we got here, we started him on food journals and nutrition plans and things like that. He's worked really hard to take his body to the next level. What I noticed on film from the year before is he had a great motor, and he continued to do that this year. He's very long, he's got a lot of length to him. He's a player that can play on the edge. He could also eventually go into an interior technique if they wanted to use him that way.
What does the future hold for Garfield at the next level?
I think he's got that next level talent. I think he's a player that has all the tools to turn that into potentially playing on Sundays one day. I'm excited for him. I think it was a good move to go there (to Kansas). I know that he's been heavily recruited by them since day one, and I know he's very loyal to them now because of that.
Kwahn Drake and Josh Eargle recruited Lawrence. What was your experience like dealing with the Kansas coaches?
From day one, they were a class act all the way as far as the way they handled the recruiting. Direct contact was made with me from their coaching staff and they kept me in the loop with what was going on the entire time. I have nothing but good things to say about how the handled that, how they communicated with me.
What position do you think he will play in the future?
He's a guy that could play again on the edge. When I got here, he was light enough to even consider him as an outside linebacker. He could certainly still do that, but because of where he's at through his growth, I see him really kind of putting on more weight. I really think he's a dynamic defensive end, that's what he's built to do.
He's a great pass rusher with a high motor. Eventually he might even transition down inside into a three technique. But right now, I mean, I think he's a premier guy at the defensive end. Really good on the edge, uses his hands well, and is a great pass rusher.
He had a lot of offers. What was the recruiting like for him and the schools that showed interest? Schools like Tennessee and Arkansas recently offered.
Lately here there were SEC schools. Arkansas, I know had offered him. I know that Missouri, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all had him on the phone recently in contact. His recruiting really picked up in the last month or so, and I anticipated it doing that.
Garfield's, take is that he wanted to go somewhere where they had him on the top of the list. And that’s what Coach Eargle told me from day one that he was one of the top guys as far as their defensive end recruits. I know Garfield’s very loyal about that.