Name: Lawrence Wilson
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
High School: St. Vincent-St. Mary
Position: Defensive Line
Year: 5th-Year Senior
Last season: Second straight injury-shortened season; played in seven games before tearing ACL against Purdue
This season: Will provide veteran leadership along a deep and experienced defensive front
by Leah Abouahmed, OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Lawrence Wilson’s last two seasons haven’t exactly gone according to plan.
After playing in 24 games his first two seasons out of Akron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School where he was ranked a Ohio’s top defensive end, Wilson was redshirted in 2007 after breaking his right leg in the first game of the season. Last year Wilson played in seven games before tearing his left ACL which sidelined him for yet another season.
During the offseason, Wilson has been focusing on the muscles in his legs more and working on getting healthier and stronger. But the road to recovery has not been easy.
“It’s tough,” Wilson said. “I just take it one day at a time. I tell myself I have to go as hard as I can and let tomorrow and the future take care of itself. If I keep my mind focused and stay positive, everything will work out.”
During spring practice, Wilson is not participating in any full contact drills, but when summer starts he plans to be back 100 percent and will be ready to prove himself when that time comes.
“I feel like I have to prove myself again,” Wilson said. “Everyone knows I’m still here. They hear me around the locker room and everything. I just need to improve and prove myself again.”
Typically an ACL takes six to nine months to fully repair. Wilson is about a month and a half away from being back to full strength. He is finding support from family, teammates, coaches and the Ohio State fans. He received letters of support from fans that were sent to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center when he suffered his first injury. This time around, Wilson appreciated the more direct contact he had with fans, with them sending notes of encouragement through his Ohio State email.
Teammates also appreciate what Wilson brings to the field, even though he can’t be fully active in practice.
“Lawrence is one of the vocal leaders on the team and just having him around encourages us,” teammate and friend Thaddeus Gibson said. “With him just being around is something we need. He’s crazy. He’ll get you going always cracking jokes and always laughing. He’s in really good spirits every day.”
Wilson, 21, has faced many obstacles while trying to chase his dream of playing Ohio State football, but he had learned to take it one day at a time.
“I tell myself I have to go as hard as I can and let tomorrow and the future take care of itself.”