Bastrop High senior running back Kyrese Lawrence has accepted an invitation to join the football squad at Arkansas Baptist College.

Bastrop High senior running back Kyrese Lawrence has accepted an invitation to join the football squad at Arkansas Baptist College.

A three-year letterman, Lawrence was a two-time, first-team All-District 2-4A honoree for the Rams.

Arkansas Baptist is a four-year school, which also offers a two-year associate's degree program. The Buffaloes compete athletically as a junior college independent. Although ABC doesn't offer athletic scholarships, the school provides players who may have been overlooked with a chance to play and move on to a four-year school.

Lawrence chose to attend ABC over Division III East Texas Baptist.

"I want to get to a bigger school," Lawrence said. "I need to develop a little more before I take off for somewhere else. I would rather start out in a junior college program where I have a chance to play as a freshman instead of getting redshirted."

Lawrence was impressed with ABC after visiting the Little Rock campus.

"I met some of their players and they made me feel real comfortable," Lawrence said. "They came up to me, introduced themselves, and shook my hand and my parents' hands. They made me feel like I was welcome there."

Lawrence says he met several players from northeast Louisiana during his visit.

"I met players from Wossman, Ouachita, Rayville and Richwood — pretty much all of the teams from around here," Lawrence said. "There were also some people from New Orleans there, and a player from Chicago named Tyler. He had me and my parents laughing the whole time. He was really funny."

Lawrence says ABC could have as many as four players from Bastrop's senior class when fall practice gets underway. Defensive tackle Quandarious Rhodes has already committed to the Buffaloes, and Lawrence says defensive end/linebacker T.J. Blanch and defensive back C.J. Mullins could follow suit.

"The coaches said we could bring C.J. and T.J. with us," Lawrence said.

Another factor in Lawrence's decision was the Buffaloes' offensive scheme.

"They run a balanced offense," Lawrence said. "They like to run and throw."

Lawrence says he plans to study engineering in college.

"I don't know what type of engineering yet, but it will probably have something to do with computers or technology," Lawrence said. "I'm into math and science."

As a senior, Lawrence helped the Rams (9-3) reach the Class 4A state quarterfinals where they lost to eventual state champion Edna Karr.