IHS’s Lawley signs with South Alabama

Published 8:09 pm Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blake Lawley knew he’d play college football somewhere. It was just a matter of time before the University of South Alabama came calling.

This fall, the Isabella High School senior will enroll to play outside linebacker for the football team.

It didn’t matter where he ended up on a field, he just knew he could succeed at the next level. Lucky for him, the Mobile-based Jaguars saw the value in the 6’1” 225-pounder’s athletic services.

“I’m pretty happy because it’s a bigger school,” Lawley said. “I’ve got a lot of opportunities and a chance to make a mark down there.”

Lawley played nearly every sport IHS had to offer. While he ranks baseball as his second favorite to play, it’s really no competition at all. Football won his heart many years ago.

His family’s support has been constant and unwavering. Along with his coaches and friends, they’ve encouraged him to succeed on whatever playing field he happens to be on on any particular day.

“My family’s been behind me 100 percent since the first day I had little league practice,” Lawley said. “The coaches told me I had great potential, and if I keep a good work ethic, I can do great things. Everybody’s always supported me. I’ve never had anybody be negative.”

Without hesitation, Lawley tosses out typical terms like “hard work” and “do the best I can do” when discussing his future as a student athlete. With a gritty determination, perhaps from the genes of a father who boxed some, Lawley means what he says. If he walks on to a baseball diamond wearing a bright white uniform, expect a tough laundry assignment afterward. His hard work on the field shows up in the stains on his clothes.

He remains driven by the support of his base.

“When people think you can do it, it helps you out a lot,” he said. “It gives you a lot of confidence.”

Confidence is not a trait Lawley lacks. He carries himself with a healthy swagger that rubs off on his teammates. If he has fun and works hard, so do they.

He hopes to let his confidence and determination translate in the classroom as well. Lawley has yet to lock down a major prior to even enrolling, but his sights are currently set on physical therapy. USA has a reputable medical school he believes could lead him down that path.

He’ll move down to USA in August not too long after summer workouts. Before then, though, he plans to relax after graduation on a senior trip to Panama City, something you can bet he’s greatly anticipating.

Lawley also plans to visit Huntsville to participate in the North-South High School All-Star game.

But he can’t wait to finally journey down to Mobile, just about three hours away from home. That’s not too far away for his parents, Angie and Harold, and brother, Kaden, to come visit and watch his games.

“I haven’t ever lived away from home,” he said. “It will take some getting used to. I’m going to miss Isabella. But once I get down there, I believe I’ll be ready to get on with my life and start fresh.”