CHARLOTTE -- Jake Lawler could be spending his Thursday night's elsewhere, but he loves being in the booth.

South Mecklenburg's star defensive end is the public address announcer at the school's junior varsity games.

"People love it," said Lawler. "I don't know they could be lying to try not to hurt my feelings but they seem genuine."

And Jake is genuinely good, making sure he gets the yardage and names right, and keeping fans informed.

"The timing and the math," Lawler said. "You need to think well on your feet."

That's something he does on the field. He's 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, and received about 20 college offers before choosing North Carolina.

One reason he chose UNC? The broadcast school.

"They have one of the best broadcast journalism schools in the country," he said.

With a 4.0 GPA, Lawler will leave South Meck in January and enroll early at Chapel Hill. Not only will he get a jump start on his football career, but his education as well.

And he hopes his nights at the mic will serve him well beyond football.

"I want to make the NFL because I love playing football with every ounce of my body," Lawler said. "After that I think I could work for the ACC Network and maybe in Connecticut one day doing SportsCenter. That'd be fun."