University of Miami

He’s Corn Elder’s cousin, and this Nashville DB will officially visit Miami in June

Miami’s Corn Elder talks about UM Pro Day

Miami Hurricanes' Corn Elder talks Pro Day UM Pro Day Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Greentree Practice Fields in Coral Gables.
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Miami Hurricanes' Corn Elder talks Pro Day UM Pro Day Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at Greentree Practice Fields in Coral Gables.

Keshawn Lawrence had already heard all about Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes defense by the time the University of Miami finally offered him a scholarship in February. His older cousin is Corn Elder, who was an all-Atlantic Coast Conference cornerback in Diaz’s first season as the Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator in 2016 and now plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Even though Lawrence insists Elder isn’t pressuring him, the four-star safety has spent years hearing nothing but positive things about Diaz and Miami.

“He said they’re real genuine people. They don’t just hit you up with the recruitment talk. They really care for you,” Lawrence said Friday. “If you’re coachable, they have a really good coaching staff that’s really going to teach you the techniques of what you really need to go to the league.”

In the next month, the Hurricanes will try to get Lawrence to follow in his cousin’s footsteps, just as he currently is at Ensworth in Nashville. The senior, who already visited Coral Gables in March, is slated for another trip back to the Miami metropolitan area in June, this time for an official visit coinciding with the Hurricanes’ annual Paradise Camp.

Elder might not be there because of NFL obligations, but Lawrence’s parents will, which makes this a prime opportunity for Miami to make a major impression on one of its top out-of-state targets for the Class of 2020.

“When I was there, there wasn’t really that many people there, but I’m pretty sure this time there’s going to be a lot more people,” Lawrence said. “Just getting that feel again. I just want to get my parents down there this time to get a feel for it.”

Although Lawrence is the nation’s No. 5 safety in the composite rankings for the 2020 class, the Hurricanes are recruiting the 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back primarily as a cornerback, but it doesn’t mean cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph, who also coached Elder in the corner’s all-ACC season, is alone in pitching Lawrence.

Lawrence still thinks about his first trip to South Florida and the way the whole coaching staff made it clear he was a major priority for them. The entire defensive staff, Lawrence said, was waiting at the door of the Hecht Center for Athletic Excellence when Lawrence got to campus.

“Their whole coaching staff basically is showing a lot of interest toward me,” Lawrence said. “They reach out a lot, they talk to me a lot, they don’t just ask about football. They ask about how my day is going, how my family is. They’re trying to just coach me, as well, outside of just what I noticed. They tell me some techniques. When I took my visit there, they just showed me a lot of love, so it was just something that I really liked and connected with them from the first day.”

Miami is primarily battling Southeastern Conference suitors to land the elite prospect. He took an official visit with the LSU Tigers in April and he has another set with the Ole Miss Rebels for this weekend. The Tennessee Volunteers and South Carolina Gamecocks are also major factors in the athlete’s recruitment.

None of them has an advocate quite like Elder, though.

“I talked to him a lot about it,” Lawrence said. “I like how they play aggressive with the DBs. I love how they’re dogs and they play with that swagger.”

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