Valdosta Daily Times

January 27, 2014

Ready for NFL challenge

Virgil, former Blazer DT, focuses on life after college

Samuel D. Logan
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA —  Fresh off an appearance in the National Football League Players Association Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif., former Valdosta State University defensive tackle Lawrence Virgil is making a name for himself on many NFL scouts' boards. In the Jan. 18 game at the StubHub Center on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills, Virgil was a part of the American Team coached by former Minnesota Vikings (1992-2001) and Arizona Cardinals (2004-2006) coach Dennis Green. Virgil recorded three tackles and one tackle for loss in the game, which rotated a pool of players to ensure all players got equal time. Virgil was joined by former teammate, receiver Gerald Ford in the game as well.
“I think I had a great experience. Just being invited to the game, going to California; everything was amazing. It was well organized. (Green) was a good coach and we had good practices; I showed how I could play during practices,” said Virgil.
This game was just the first step for Virgil on his quest to continue his football career at the next level.
Born Jan. 1, 1991, in Quitman, Virgil grew up surrounded by football. He began playing in 2007 and proceeded to play for Brooks County from 2006-2010 under coach Maurice Freeman. Virgil played both offensive and defensive linemen and even hinted to liking offensive lineman better than playing defense.
“I used to prefer offensive line better in high school. In the NFL, I would be up to try to play either both offensive and defensive line,” said Virgil.
Freeman speaks highly of the defensive tackle.
“He was a beast. He was one heck of a high school football player. VSU stuck with him through the recruiting process and, and he was loyal to them. There were Division I schools looking at him, but he choose VSU. I honestly think he will definitely find a way to play on Sunday,” said Freeman.
Virgil enrolled at VSU in the fall of 2010 and played until his senior year ended in 2013.
As a Blazer, Virgil learned many lessons.
“Playing football, I learned how to be dedicated, and to give my all on every play. At school, I learned that you need an education to get somewhere in life,” said Virgil. “I liked that the classes were small at Valdosta. I also loved how the team was a family and we stuck by each other.”
Starting since his freshman year, Virgil knows that in five years, he would love to compete on Sundays. His definition of success is telling of that.
“Success is setting your goals and doing whatever it takes to complete those goals,” added Virgil.
The only aspect of VSU that Virgil didn't like was something you don't normally hear.
“I didn’t like how close it was to home,” chuckled Virgil.
Off the field, Virgil sees himself as a shy guy overall, but can be out spoken at times when it comes to humor.
“I’m pretty funny and most people don’t think I talk a lot but I do. I’m shy at first,” commented Virgil.
Being shy, Virgil has a very understandable weakness, in front of a big crowd.
At VSU, Vigil had a nice career, earning second-team All-GSC honors as a junior and senior. At the end of his Blazer career, he totaled 130 tackles with 29 tackles for loss and forced eight fumbles while playing in 34 games.
“Going to college and winning the national championship in 2012 are highlights of my life so far,” said Virgil. “Football has molded me into the person I am today. Football made me tough and gave me the determination to do anything.”
Leaving Valdosta State, Virgil thinks he left a good mark in history as a Blazer.
“I feel like I’ve made a good mark on VSU. I’m one of the top 10 linemen who went to Valdosta State in my opinion,” commented Virgil.
“2012 was my best season statistically and my favorite season. My stats were good and I played a part in getting the team to the championship,” said Virgil.
At VSU, Virgil was very close to GSC single-game touchdown record┼║breaking receiver Seantavius Jones.
“I felt like he (Jones) was humble, he was a great player. He didn’t act like he was the best player, he showed it. It would also be cool to be on the same NFL team with him,” added Virgil.
Virgil is currently training in Hiram, preparing for a pro day and the NFL combine.