December 17, 2007

Lawrence steals show in Ala.-Miss. all-star game

MOBILE, Ala. - With six Crimson Tide commitments dotting the home-state roster in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, and the Alabama all-stars having won eight of the last nine meetings, it seemed almost a given that this year's meeting would be starred by someone headed to Tuscaloosa.

It may have happened - but he was wearing the other uniform.

Mississippi all-star Alonzo Lawrence, who remains undecided but will visit Alabama next month, returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown to clinch a 26-7 victory for the Magnolia Staters at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Alabama quarterback Barrett Trotter threw a screen pass intended for Julio Jones, but did not see Lawrence sitting on the route. Jones gave chase for the length of the field, but was unable to close the gap.

"There was no way anyone was catching me on that one," said Lawrence. "I knew I was facing the No. 1 receiver in the country, so it was a good chance to show people what I can do, and I took advantage of it."

Said Trotter, who threw three interceptions: "I probably should have checked off there."

Yet, it might not have even been Lawrence's most impressive play of the night. The Lucedale, Miss., native, who was named the Mississippi squad's most valuable player, also recorded a recorded an impressive breakup on a lob pass intented for Jones in the end zone (see photo). Lawrence deflected the pass into the waiting arms of Charles Mitchell for an interception. Drawing Lawrence in coverage for most of the game, Jones made just one catch for nine yards.

Lawrence's top college options include Alabama, Ole Miss, Miami and Tennessee. Asked about that decision after the game, the senior gave up nothing.

"I'm wide open," he said.

While the player of the game was clearly Lawrence, several Alabama commitments showed well also. Burton Scott caught only two passes for 15 yards, but was impressive on a 41-yard kickoff return and looked solid from his cornerback position.

The Alabama MVP was DeKendrick Moncrief, who caught six passes for 71 yards and his team's only touchdown. Linebacker Jerrell Harris, of Gadsden, made a game-high nine tackles.

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