Nile Lawrence visited for Saturday's junior day and had an excellent time. He becomes the seventh commitment, joining First Coast RB Eric Beverly, OL Sterling Lovelady, Treasure Coast DBs Lamarcus Brutus and Keelin Smith, Deland OL Trey Pettis, and Ridge ATH Karlos Williams.
|6'2"||299||4.90 (laser timed at almost 300 lbs
32 bench press reps of 185. 7.65 3-cone drill.
Not really much to discuss. FSU did an excellent job of discovering (and offering) him before any other school. Nile has really flown below the radar thus far, but that will probably change considering his commitment and recent combine performance. There are rumors out there that perennial power St. Thomas Aquinas has tried to get him to play on their squad for a couple of years now.
As you can see in the film, Lawrence plays a lot of linebacker for his school. He's a wide-bodied athlete with room to grow and possesses excellent quickness given his size. We like his first step, his footwork, and how he uses his hands as a linebacker. And of course, he's 299 lbs and ran a 4.90 laser-timed 40-yard dash. His 3-cone time is insane.
When asked about how he (incredibly) gained 35 lbs in the three months since the season ended, Nile's sister confirmed that their mother is a registered dietician. She said that the family eats very well and that Nile works out a lot and eats a proper diet.
His school (Nova) is a Research & Development Center School. A note from a recent graduate:
They test out a lot of different curriculums there. So, there really aren't any requirements other than waiting your turn to get into the school. But they are well known for their debate team and baseball team. They have a lot AP and college prep courses. As a side note, over 70% of the top 100 of my graduating class attended UF. The rest went out of state.
Nile Lawrence-Stample held only two offers as of last week. One was from Colorado State. The other from the Florida State Seminoles. Part of his low profile was due to Nile playing at a decidedly non-football school. Nova HS is not a place where coaches usually look for talent. But FSU fans are really glad the Noles looked because Lawrence-Stample committed to Florida State after visiting last week's Junior Day event. On that same weekend, he attended a combine in SoFla. And everyone took notice of the 6'1.5" 299 lb defensive tackle.
The kid looks up to Dwight Freeney. That might seem unusual, considering Freeney is an undersized defensive end and Lawrence-Stample is a defensive tackle prospect who will eventually play at 310 lbs or so. But remember that Stample played a lot of linebacker last season at 280 lbs (not 265 as previously reported).
What Stample, who was recently added to the ESPNU 150 Watch List (about 385 of the nation's best prospects) did at the combine, however, might become stuff of legend. He benched 185 lbs 32 times. The next best competitor did it 29 times, and none of the other 200 competitors bested 25 reps. Stample ran a 4.90 laser timed 40-yard dash time, which was better than 125 other combine entrants, including many skill position players. His 30" vert is also really good for a 299 lb man. Keep reading to see the most impressive part of Stample's game:
But it is that 3-cone drill time that is so jaw dropping. 7.65 seconds at 299 lbs. 16 players went through that test of speed, agility, and change of direction between 7.63 and 7.68 seconds. Two WRs, 6 defensive backs, 3 running backs, two quarterbacks, 2 linebackers, and one man over 225 lbs (Lawrence at 299 lbs). That's insane. Here are some photos of the big man.
Here's some video of the big man running the drill (1:45 mark), courtesy of Manny Navarro who also tells us that Nile grew up playing soccer and not football.
It's a long way till signing day (Feb 4th), but being a recruit's first offer means a lot and it seems likely Nile Lawrence-Stample will stick. It seems Florida State's coaches are now adding stars to kid's recruiting profiles rather than sitting back and recruiting off the lists of recruiting sites.
FSU sits at 8 commitments, all from Florida, 7 of which are on the ESPNU150 Watch List.