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Thursday, May 16, 2013
Juco DL Davonte Lambert names a top 4

By Radi Nabulsi

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Everyone calls him “Pee Wee,” but not in an ironic way that you would call a big man “Tiny.” No, defensive tackle Davonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) was born to that nickname.

“I was a premature baby and my auntie came up with that name when I was little, so it just stuck with me ever since,” Lambert said. “I was under five pounds.”

Now Lambert tips the scales at 280 pounds and stands 6-foot-3 atop the wish lists of a number of major college programs.

“I have offers from Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi State, Miami, Texas Tech -- I don’t know all of them off the top of my head,” Lambert said. “I get a ton of letters every day with a lot of handwritten ones.”

Not too shabby for a guy who didn’t get much attention in high school. Now in junior college, Lambert is enjoying the spotlight.

It feels good to have all these offers,” Lambert said. “I mean I have more now than when I was in high school. I think on it every day. I work hard but I am thankful for it, too.”

Lambert wants to take some trips before he makes a decision.

“I am supposed to meet with my head coach tomorrow and decide on where I am going to visit,” Lambert said. “I am not sure where all I am going to visit, but it could be up to 20 places. I am looking for a good atmosphere and a nice vibe from the players, coaches and students.”

He also has to factor in what position he is being asked to play.

“Some schools want me as a defensive end and a defensive tackle,” Lambert said. “Some want me just as a defensive end, and one school wants me as a standup end.”

That last school would be Georgia.

“Georgia wants me to be a standup, like Jarvis Jones,” Lambert said. “They want me on the line, but he told me I will be playing where Jarvis Jones was playing and he was a standup end. So I don’t know if I will have my hand in the dirt or be standing up.”

He could easily get clarification from the Bulldogs defensive coordinator.

“I talk to coach [Todd] Grantham pretty much every day,” Lambert said. “He messages me on Twitter. I also hear from Florida almost every day -- coach [Brad] Lawing. Also coach [Steve] Stripling from Tennessee.”

Those three schools and Mississippi State make up Lambert’s top four. He gave his thoughts on each school:

Mississippi State: “The way they run their line, they move just like our line here. I would be pretty comfortable there. It won’t be easy, but I would know it.”

Tennessee: “Tennessee is losing a lot of linemen, and there is a pretty good chance to come in and start. Butch Jones is a real good coach. When he called me he got me excited -- he keeps me pumped.”

Florida: “They are losing a lot of linemen as well. I talked to Coach Lawning and he said, ‘We are losing a lot of linemen so you could come in and start.’ They want to switch me at defensive end and defensive tackle, which I do here. That would make me feel real comfortable.”

Georgia: “Being a standup end -- I did some of it in high school -- I kind of like it. It would be something new. It doesn’t have me nervous because I am a real good pass rusher.”