Profile: Cameron and Addison Lawrence
Two brothers from the Tate County town of Coldwater in northwestern Mississippi never imagined when they signed to play Bulldog football that they'd be part of a team going into the 2011 campaign ranked nationally among the top 25 in several preseason polls.
"We just wanted to play in our state and play where it felt like home to us," said Cameron Lawrence, 20, the younger brother of 22-year-old Addison.
And, the Lawrence brothers were pleasantly surprised when Mississippi State recruiters came calling at Magnolia Heights, their small, private high school in Senatobia.
"When a recruiter first contacted me, he left a voicemail on my phone and I thought it was a joke," Addison said.
But it's been no joking matter for the two, who have worked their way into the lineup of one of this fall's most anticipated Southeastern Conference teams.
Addison, a three-year offensive starter, had to gain 50 pounds when he arrived on campus to secure his position as right tackle, having played tight end in high school. Cameron, who came to the team as a quarterback, has been a versatile asset for the Dawgs, having played wide receiver, safety and outside linebacker.
A preseason All-SEC pick, Addison said it's "huge" playing for such a great team and head coach, while Cameron commented on the Bulldogs' impressive strides during the last season that ended with Egg and Gator bowl championships.
"We're definitely on the rise, and it feels good," said Cameron, who is a junior in business management, while big brother Addison pursues a master's degree in education.
Both men said they owe a lot to their parents for their current success on the field and in school, citing their dad's help in getting them "seen" by college recruiters as high school players.
"And our mom is our No. 1 fan," Cameron said. "She has sewn together our two jerseys to wear at all the games."
Next week … Alix Hui !