INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Led by a few BCS signees over the last couple years, Lawrence Central is beginning to emerge as one of the Midwest’s top football programs.
Indiana, Purdue and Toledo have already offered 2013 offensive lineman Timothy Gardner.
Two years ago, it was quarterback Tre Roberson who led the Bears to the state championship game before moving on to Indiana where he eventually won the starting signal-caller duties this fall.
Among the group of seniors this past season were offensive lineman Wesley Rogers who will join Roberson in Bloomington, and safety Kevin Brown, who is already enrolled as an early entrant at Cincinnati.
Turning the page to next season and beyond, head coach Jayson West is excited about several of his underclassmen. 247Sports was recently by the school to talk to him about his up-and-coming prospects.
Already Holding Offers
Timothy Gardner, 6-5, 315, OL, 2013
Offers: Indiana, Purdue and Toledo
Interest: Includes Iowa, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Coach’s speak: “I think he’s come a long way. Not too many big guys can move like him. He gets better and better with time, and he gets better and better during the season, which is always good to see. Our offensive line coach does a nice job and expectations are high. Once he gets it going, he’s pretty impressive to watch. The better the competition, the better he plays. When he gets to play big-time players and see guys from the Warrens, and Carmels and Avons and Pikes, he really has a good time against those guys, and really enjoys the challenge. The best thing I think he does, he plays better the better the competition is.
Already holding scholarships from Ball State, Indiana and Iowa, OLB Brandon Lee appears to be one of the Midwest's top class of 2014 prospects.
Brandon Lee, 6-2, 210, OLB, 2014
Offers: Ball State, Indiana and Iowa
Coach’s speak: “Brandon’s older brother played for us, Kenny (senior defensive back at Ball State). He’s just somebody that’s been around. He’s been a gym rat for the last four years. He knows us, knew the expectations. He knows our system because he sat in meetings as a seventh and eighth grader. He’s just ahead of the competition not only physically but mentally. When you do that you can play as a freshman and really excel.”
Others to keep an eye on
Deshaii Powell, 6-3, 240, DE, 2013
Coach’s speak: “He right now is about 6-3 ½, 255 pounds, and he played at 215. He’s already put on about an inch and 35 pounds. He’s just growing plus lifting. Kids just grow at this time, and he’s putting in a spurt that is pretty impressive to watch. I’m pretty excited to see what he can do because he’s so much stronger than last year. He’s bigger, so he’s going to have to learn how to play with that new body of his. I think Deshaii could go to a BCS school and play.
Derrick Dunlap, 6-2, 230, DE, 2013
Coach’s speak: “Derek has put on a lot of nice weight this offseason and worked really hard. He can play outside linebacker in a 3-4, can play defensive end in a 4-3. I don’t know what he is yet. Or he can gain a lot of weight or put his hand down. I don’t know what he projects at yet, but he’s going to be a good player for us.
Delon Pettiford, 5-9, 175, CB, 2013
Coach’s speak: “I really like him. He’s really long armed. Heavy handed. He’s strong. He can play safety, he can play corner and he can play slot. He’s a pretty talented kid and he has a 3.5 GPA.”
Deshawn Wortham, 5-9, 220, RB, 2013
Coach’s speak: “He’s an athletic kid, about 220 right now. He’s pretty impressive. He runs really well. He’s a nice back.”
Isaiah Townsend, 5-10, 175, RB, 2013
Coach’s speak: “He’s the other slot. We always have kids that move pretty well, and he’s a kid that can run. He’s also put on 20 pounds this offseason so we’re excited to see what returns that brings on the field.”
Kenny Jones, 6-2, 175, WR, 2014
Coach’s speak: “He’s a freak factor. He can do some things athletically that are pretty impressive, and he has some ball skills. He’s not just an athlete out there, and he’s not a wide receiver without skills. He can actually go deep and he moves in space pretty well because he’s not too long. He’s 6-2 barefoot.”
Kevin Willis, 6-3, 274, DT, 2014
Coach’s speak: “He’s a special lineman. At (Indiana) the other day he weighed in at 274, and he played at 240 this year. He picked up some weight. He’s a great athlete and he can run. For a lineman that can run, it’s pretty fun to watch. I think he’ll project as a defensive lineman unless he gets in a run-oriented offense. He has a 3.5 GPA so he could go to Georgia Tech and be an undersized offensive lineman. I don’t know what he’s going to end up doing, but he’s going to be a good one.”
Quintaz Wright, 6-1, 210, LB, 2014
Coach’s speak: “He plays right behind Brandon. He’s going to have to step up and play. He’s built like Brandon but a little shorter but rangy and athletic. As a linebacker, he’s a nice looking kid.”
West added that sophomore offensive lineman Stephan Gilbert (6-4, 300) and freshman receiver Glen Calvin (6-6, 200) and freshman defensive end Craig Cooper (6-3, 220) are three more he expects to emerge next season.