Sweetwater's Lawrence a star as walk-on at UNT
SWEETWATER, Texas - Michael Lawrence has had a lot of people doubt his abilities as a football player.
Standing at 5-foot-10, he isn't the biggest, or the strongest or fastest on the field. However, he's overcome that with hard work.
The former Sweetwater Mustang had a sensational sophomore season at North Texas, leading the team with 62 catches and 819 yards, along with 4 TD catches.
The Mean Green won the West division of Conference USA and played in a bowl game for the second straight year.
"Coming from freshman year one catch to sophomore having 62 catches, that wasn't even in my thought," said Lawrence, who walked-on with the Mean Green after having minimal interest from big-time colleges out of high school.
Lawrence attributes his success this past season to his work ethic and becoming familiar with the offensive system.
That attitude to be coachable, and do the right thing earned him the nickname The Standard, the player others' should look to as the example of how to practice and plays.
"There could be other nicknames, worse nicknames than that. But I'll take The Standard," said Lawrence.
The finance major said he's familiar with having to prove himself because he did the same at Sweetwater.
"The lessons I learned growing up are that you've got to have that chip on your shoulder. Every play, you can't take it for granted. You have to go hard and be that player that the coaches see that hey this kid he wants to be out there.
"That's what I kind of did in high school. I had to prove myself that I wanted to be on varsity, and be a player that makes plays. That kind of carried over to my college career."
Lawrence caught 73 passes for 1154 yards and 18 scores in his senior year with the Mustangs, where he was coached by Clark and Zach Harrell, brothers of current North Texas offensive coordinator and former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell.
That connection helped him find a spot with the Mean Green, but Lawrence still had to work his way up the ladder to find playing time. Now he's hoping that hard work pays off with a scholarship.
"That's everyone's dream as a walk-on is being put on scholarship. And being part of a winning program, and competing for championships, things that we've done. And being an impact player for my team."