Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Blazers Blog

July 6, 2014

Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

VALDOSTA — With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, Virgil is a defensive end/defensive tackle hybrid that has good speed and body movement, which caught the eyes of many NFL teams during pre-draft workouts.

At VSU, Virgil recorded 130 total tackles (29 for loss), 15.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a safety in three seasons at defensive end.

During the draft weekend, Virgil and his family patiently awaited his name to be called. While Virgil did not hear his name before the draft concluded, his phone line was quickly contacted by a plethora of NFL teams.

The Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts called him with an opportunity to sign an undrafted free agent contract, but through long consideration, Virgil decided to take his chance with the New Orleans Saints.

“I wanted to get drafted, but I was blessed enough to get a chance to come into the league. I was happy to go to the Saints,” said Virgil. “I was checking all the defensive linemen on each team’s rosters and saw that the Saints may have needed some extra help so I chose them.”

After making his choice, Virgil began participating in the Saints rookie mini-camp on May 11 in Louisiana. Virgil took a few lessons he learned at Valdosta State with him.

“I learned to be responsible and to show up on time for everything. You have to show the coaches that they can trust you, and that is what I’ve tried to do,” said Virgil.

Working with the Saints, Virgil added a few pounds from his 287-pound college weight and has been working on numerous things with new coaches Sean Payton and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.

“Right now they want me to stay around 295 pounds,” said Virgil. “Mainly we’ve been working on techniques. Footwork, hand placement and how to get off a block. Johnson is very technical and he loves paying attention to detail.

“Payton is a good coach. He makes sure we all take care of each other. I don’t spend much time with him because he’s an offensive coach, but from what I see, he’s great.”

Most experts note a tremendous difference between the NFL and college, however Virgil stated he doesn’t see much difference.

“I can’t tell much difference outside of the face that everyone is bigger and stronger, and we haven’t even put on pads yet,” he said.

Being a rookie on an NFL team can be tough, but also beneficial, as working with veterans can teach players a lot.

“Cam Jordan is someone I’ve always thought was a good player and now I get to line up with him,” said Virgil. “The veterans are very helpful. They show us what we need to do to get better and kind of put us under their wings.”

A typical day for Virgil at OTAs included a lot of meetings in addition to position specific workouts.

“We wake up around 7 a.m. to eat, then we have special team meetings, followed by defensive meetings, then we go on the field to do a walk through, then we practice, and then we go lift, and end the day with another meeting,” said Virgil.

Virgil is not alone in his goal to make his time with the Saints official. Former teammate Seantavius Jones is also trying to make the cut and Virgil is thankful to have a familiar face in Louisiana with him.

“It benefits us a lot to both be there. We are competing with so many people to make the team, having someone you know like Jones is great because we can talk, hangout and help each other out. We were already teammates so we already have that bond,” said Virgil.

Virgil returns to training camp on July 25, when he and the rest of his Saints teammates will travel to West Virginia to begin camp.

1
Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: