Tennessee picked up their first big-time in-state commitment in the 2020 recruiting class on Friday. On Monday, the second in-state domino fell.
Keshawn Lawrence, one of the top three players in the state of Tennessee and the top-rated defensive back in the state, announced his commitment to the Vols via Twitter on Monday night. The four-star safety chose Tennessee over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, LSU, Florida, Miami, USC, and others.
— KE(Y)SHAWN LAWRENCE 💰C❌C (@KeShawn2x) June 24, 2019
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Lawrence is the No. 63 overall player, No. 3 safety, and No. 2 player in the state of Tennessee. The regular 247Sports rankings have him as the highest-rated player in the state and the No. 59 overall prospect.
Lawrence has visited Tennessee multiple times throughout his recruitment, and he’s most recently taken visits in late March, in April for the Orange & White Game, and again in mid-May. He visited Miami over the weekend, and the Hurricanes seemed to have some momentum. But in the end, UT won out.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound athlete plays both offense and defense for Ensworth, but he’s being recruited primarily as a defender in college. It’s not out of the question to see him play both sides of the ball in college, though.
At a regional camp for Nike’s The Opening a month ago, Lawrence ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds and was timed running the shuttle in 4.06 seconds. He also had a 39.5-inch vertical leap and was invited to The Opening Finals later this summer.
Lawrence is a gifted athlete who can make defenders look silly on offense with his speed and elusiveness. On defense, he has solid instincts and wraps up well on tackles. He has good pursuit and takes smart angles on his highlight film. With his height and ball skills, he should project as a solid safety in college. He could also go on the offensive side of the ball. Either way, Lawrence clearly has skills and is a very talented athlete on the field. He’s the type of secondary player that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff really value.
As a junior, Lawrence led Ensworth with 766 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 117 carries while also totaling 15 tackles, an interception, and three pass break-ups. He also returned a punt for a score.
Lawrence’s commitment gives the Vols 11 public commitments in their 2020 class, and he’s the third player from inside UT’s own state borders to commit. The Vols picked up a commitment from four-star offensive lineman Cooper Mays on Friday, and they also have long snapper Will Albright committed.
The Vols now have four defensive backs committed to them in their 2020 class. Four-star safety Antonio Johnson, No. 1 overall JUCO prospect and four-star cornerback Art Green, and three-star cornerback Lovie Jenkins give Tennessee a solid quartet of secondary players along with Lawrence in their 10-man class.