LOS ANGELES -- The Southland is home to its share of quality wide receivers. Kenny Lawler, however, has emerged as one of the hotter commodities around due in large part to the fact the Upland (Calif.) senior remains uncommitted and National Signing Day is right around the corner.
Oregon State appears to be the leader for the 6-foot-3 and 175-pound pass-catcher. The Beavers have recruited Lawler for a while now and the somewhat close proximity of the school to his Southern California roots could end up being one of the deciding factors.
“I really like Oregon State, I had a visit up there and it went really good, the coaching staff is great there,'' Lawler said. “They are at the top of my list right now.''
His family is on the same page when it comes to the future.
“It's coming down to the wire, but I'd have to say that Oregon State is in the driver's seat,'' said his father, Kenny Lawler Sr. “We had a visit with them last week and it went well. They are leading now, but that could all change. The next couple weeks will be interesting.''
Washington State is also considered to be a major player in the Lawler sweepstakes. Coach Mike Leach was in the family home on Wednesday night, presumably in an effort to make one final pitch. The plan is for Lawler to visit the Cougars campus this weekend.
“I was impressed with Coach Leach and his whole staff, I like what they have to offer me,'' said Lawler, who finished with 1,267 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns this season for Upland. “I have a decision to make soon and I'm going to think about all my options.''
Another factor in the grand scheme of things is the interest Oklahoma State has recently expressed in him. Former Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant is enjoying success in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon is heading in similar direction. An all-important recruiting trip to Stillwater in two weeks is in the works for Lawler.
“Oklahoma State came into the picture late and has come on strong, that school brings the wow factor,'' Lawler Sr. said. “They've done a great job of developing NFL players and that's attractive to my son. If he doesn't stay on the West Coast, Oklahoma State is an option.''
Over the course of the last year, Lawler has stood by and watched his Southern California peers make decisions about the future. Off the recruiting board are: Lakewood's Darius Powe (Cal), Inglewood's Derrick Woods (Oklahoma), Bellflower St. John Bosco's Bryce Treggs (Cal), Westlake Village Oaks Christian's Jordan Payton (Cal) and Carson's Darreus Rogers (USC).
Lawler is seemingly the last man standing.
With many options to choose from, mind you.
“Things have been crazy with all the recruiting stuff lately, but I'm glad that I waited to make my final college decision,'' Lawler said. “I like the spot I'm in.''
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.