Driving about 30 minutes from his Studio City home to the College of the Canyons campus, offensive tackle Carlton Lorenz is going to have to travel a lot further next year if he wants to have a home cooked meal.
Currently, Lorenz has caught the eye of over a dozen college coaches at the NCAA Division 1 level.
“I always wanted to play D-1 football and out of high school it didn’t happen, but now it did,” said Lorenz.
After taking a path less traveled by committing to an NAIA program and then transferring to COC for a year, his dream is coming true.
He now has offers from 14 different schools like North Texas, Vanderbilt, New Mexico State, Central Michigan, Ball State, Abilene Christian, Indiana State, Kent State, Liberty, Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Texas-El Paso and Youngstown State.
A product of Bishop Alemany in Mission Hills, Lorenz didn’t pop up on too many Division 1 recruiting lists due to lack of playing time because of his small size.
“I had a unique perspective on Carlton because I watched him in high school,” said COC head coach Ted Iacenda. “…I watched what he turned into when he got here and now 365 days later what he is now and the transformation is just immense.
“He has put in the day-to-day work. It hasn’t happened overnight, but he dedicated himself and did everything we asked and it’s showing.”
Ultimately, getting offered and choosing to play at NAIA Robert Morris University of Illinois, Lorenz redshirted and was moved from offensive lineman to a blocking tight end due to his size.
“Watching Carlton (at Alemany), I thought he was going to come here,” Iacenda said. “… In a sense by going to Robert Morris and sitting out a year, it allowed him to kind of change his mindset and change his body a little bit and I think he is benefitting from it.”
When he arrived at RMU, Lorenz weighed in at 245 pounds. Now, a year later, after transferring to COC, playing a season under Iacenda and working with offensive line coaches Marc Dumlao and Spencer Johnson, Lorenz tips the scale at a healthy 290 pounds.
“He wanted to get better and wanted to get coached,” Dumlao said. “… A lot of the stuff was just polishing and pushing him to do things that he didn’t think he could do. Myself and Spencer (Johnson) are really big on technique and fundamentals and he would always want to stay after (practice) and work.”
Emerging as a key offensive lineman at COC, the three-star recruit attributes his growth and dedication to the COC football coaching staff and workout regiment.
“I’ve grown in a lot of places,” Lorenz said about his transformation at COC. “Definitely COC has changed how I work. Their weight training program is next-level. It really transformed my body and it also matures you as a person going through the workouts in the summer and those early mornings.”
In his one year at COC, Lorenz was part of the program’s first bowl game win since 2008. The Cougars defeated Mt. San Antonio College 28-16 on Nov. 18.
“It was awesome,” Lorenz said with a big grin. “…I still wear my shirt with pride. That was a great game.”
With three years left and an immense amount of talent yet to be tapped into, Lorenz isn’t sure when he will make his college decision as he will visit Vanderbilt this upcoming weekend.
“I’m just waiting for that gut feeling if this is where I need to go,” he said.
Grateful for everything he learned and experienced at COC, Lorenz will miss the group of guys he learned and played with.
“Coming into a ‘juco’ you wouldn’t think that it’s going to be such a close-knit group, but here it’s different. It’s definitely a brotherhood and I’ll miss that for sure,” Lorenz said.