Starkville’s KJ Lawrence Shines On The Field And In The Classroom
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) —It’s been an up and down journey for Starkville running back KJ Lawrence.
Last season, the senior battled the year with a nagging toe injury, but overcoming that has helped pushed him to work harder.
“Last year I had turf toe,” said student athlete KJ Lawrence. “And that was kind of a little hard to get over with, especially with playing with it every week. It’s been a tough little journey. Like my past couple of seasons and this off season I’ve been working hard. Trying to get stronger and faster, and I ended up doing it. That’s why I’ve had a good season like I’ve had.”
Each Friday comes a new task for KJ when his team faces difficult opponents that his team preps for, but one pro player motivates him to get him ready and play under the lights.
“I usually just stay focused and be by myself,” Lawrence said. “And listen to music and just watch highlights. I usually watch Marshawn Lynch highlights. His quickness, and how he just “Beast Mode.” He’s just strong and he’s physical.”
While Lawrence may be a star athlete on the diamond and gridiron, his mom will make sure he keeps that 4.1 grade point average in check.
“My momma stays on me twenty-four-seven about my grades,” Lawrence said. “So that’s like my number one priority. Grades first then sports second, so like me having good grades is good so like when football is over with I’ll have something to rely on.”
Following high school, KJ plans to major in Engineering, and head football coach Chris Jones knows what kind of student that he is that can set and example for others.
“He’s a good student,” said head coach Chris Jones. “And he enjoys school. He enjoys playing ball also. He also understands that it’s school and then it’s football, so I think that’s a big deal. Most kids kind of get it twisted and think it’s sports then education, but no he understands what’s important.”
A big game looms for the yellow jackets on Friday when they visit Horn Lake, and for KJ he knows that it’ll be a physical match up.
“That conference is not like ours,” Lawrence said. “So I think our conference is a little tougher, and I know that our defense and our offense set up. We are physical, so we are just going to out physical them.”
Starkville’s game on Friday at Horn Lake will kick off at 7pm.