Posted: 4:00 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Lawrence Austin wanted to be as ready as he possibly could to play in Georgia Tech’s defense before enrolling earlier this month.
To that end, prior to starting at Tech two weeks ago, the cornerback from Lamar County High spent some of his summer watching recordings of Tech games from last season to learn the defense’s pass coverages.
“I just want to be able to show coaches that I’m able to compete and ready to get on the field,” he said.
Austin said he had gone back to watch games he had either recorded or could watch on Youtube, the losses to Clemson, Georgia and Ole Miss in the Music City Bowl. Having watched the games, he said he understood how the coverages worked.
Austin, who will wear No. 20, will get a chance to play as a freshman. Eight defensive backs have played as true freshmen at Tech in the past five seasons, more than any other position group.
Said Austin, “They told me I had an opportunity if I worked hard.”
Besides twin brother Lance, Austin will be joined at Tech by Lamar County teammate Qua Searcy. The trio have turned county residents into Tech fans. He said there are ‘way more’ Tech fans now than previously in Lamar.
“When we committed, people told me, ‘I’m going to start rooting for Tech,’” Austin said. “’I’m going to come to the games.’”
Austin will be one of the fastest team members. He won the state Class AA 300-meter hurdles two years in a row and won the 110 hurdles as a senior. He was also a member of the 4×100 relay that set a state record that Lance and Searcy also ran on.
The following are my two favorite parts of the interview with Austin, done prior to his arriving at Tech. First, he shared a memory from his recruitment, his visit to Tech during the rainy North Carolina game. As the rain fell, Austin took cover underneath the stands. Weary from having played a game the night before, Austin found a golf cart and fell asleep. How long was his nap?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think I was out for a pretty good time.”
The other – I asked Austin what one or two things he was going to make sure he brought with him.
His answer: “Probably my wallet and most of my underwear, my t-shirts and stuff like that.”
It was virtually the same answer that his twin brother gave to the same question. Walk alike, talk alike, pack alike.
Ninth in a series of updates on Tech’s freshman class