Four years ago, Lynn Camp’s Trevor Lawson was an undersized player with little-to-no skills and the discipline to match.
But through a lot of hard work and determination, he grew into a fierce competitor and team leader who was a major headache for opposing teams.
Lawson’s work ethic and maturity catapulted him to being one of the top players at his position, not just locally, but across the entire state of Kentucky.
And all of that hard work and determination has landed Lawson right where he always wanted to be – on the college gridiron locking horns with the big boys after he signed a letter-of-intent to continue both his academic and athletic career at the University of the Cumberlands in nearby Williamsburg.
Lynn Camp coach Allen Harris, who took over the program when Lawson was a freshman, remembers a time when his star lineman was as much of a liability as an asset, though that quickly changed.
“When I got here, Trevor had a lot of disciplinary problems as far as controlling his temper,” said Harris. “He probably had the wrong perspective. I think he felt like he had to do all the mean, bad things to play. In is freshman year, he had more personal fouls than the rest of the team combined. But as time progressed, he grew to be a great player, a great leader, and the kind of kid we want representing Lynn Camp on the field.
“I’m very proud of the progress Trevor made,” continued Harris. “He was one of those kids that when we came in and said believe in us, be coachable, and good things will happen, Trevor bought into it and believed in us and followed us to the letter. And good things happened for him, and continue to happen today.”
Lawson, who currently stands at about 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, was so well known by the end of his high school career that he was voted as the SEKC Offensive Lineman of the Year, the Class A, District 7 Lineman of the Year, as well as All-State Honorable Mention.
It wasn’t just the high school coaches who were noticing the rising star. College coaches were also taking notice. That’s why, after he helped Lynn Camp to a historic season in 2017, Lawson had several options to continue his career at the next level.
Lawson’s first thought was to head upstate to Morehead State University, which has put several players in the NFL. But a trip to nearby University of the Cumberlands quickly changed his mind.
“I went to visit the University of the Cumberlands with my coaches and the campus was gorgeous and the people were great. And it really drew me in,” commented Lawson, while adding that the proximity to home also played a role in his decision.
“It being close to home was a very big factor,” he said. “I’d like to still be able to go see my family when I’d want. My family is a big deal to me.”
While there are many advantages to suiting up for the University of the Cumberlands, the chance to see the field early in his career is an added bonus for Lawson. Harris feels with the right attitude, and continuing the work ethic that made him a star at the high school level, there’s nothing Lawson can’t accomplish at the next level.
“Trevor is a great motivator. He has a very strong work ethic and his character is impeccable,” began Harris. “He brings a lot of energy to the field. He is an all-around good kid. He works hard in the classroom and makes good grades. He never missed a practice. He never missed a weight lift or a summer session. He was always there. Dependable. Trustworthy. He’s all the good things you can possible say about a kid.
“He just needs to keep following the things that got him where he is,” continued Harris. “He needs to keep listening to the coaching staff. He has to understand that he is starting back over at the bottom and he has to earn his way back to the top. He has to keep working hard in the weight room. He’s a thin lineman, which I think makes him fit Cumberlands’ DNA for what kind of lineman they’re looking for because he is a thinner, faster, type of lineman. If he does all the right things, the sky is the limit for him.
“His determination and work ethic will help Cumberlands,” Harris added. “If they give him a chance, he can help them right away and make an impact. He won several awards this year that came from other coaches noticing how good he is. And I think Cumberlands will see that, too.”
Lawson, who admits he is a much different player, and person, today than he was early in his high school career, credits the current Lynn Camp coaching staff for his progress.
When prompted to name someone who had a major influence in his development, he answered without pause.
“It has to be Larry Parker, our offensive line coach,” he said. “Coach Parker taught me so much. He’s been amazing.
“Coach Harris, also,” continued Lawson. “He helped me grow into what I am today. And he really showed me what it was like to be a disciplined young man.”
As for what the future holds for him. Lawson is optimistic. But regardless of where his life takes him from here, he will always be a Lynn Camp Wildcat at heart and says you should fully expect to see him on the sidelines on Friday nights with his former teammates and coaches in future seasons.
As for who will replace Lawson in the Lynn Camp starting lineup, Harris is not sure who it will be, but knows it will not be easy to fill the shoes left by his standout lineman.
“Trevor was our center and he had zero bad snaps his senior season,” commented Harris. “The game of football all begins with the center. Trevor’s a live wire. It’s going to be hard to replace him next year.”
Lawson is the son of Tonya Thomas and Jesse Lawson. He has four siblings, including 14-year-old Levi Lawson, 12-year-old Hunter Mays, 12-year-old Ande Lawson, and 10-year-old Luke Lawson.