The Jaguars' Pitcher/first baseman says he'll go to college even if drafted next year.

COURTESY PHOTO - Century's Ian Lawson poses for a photo with his parents during a signing ceremony with friends and administrators Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Century High School.Century's Ian Lawson is no stiff.

The senior hit .337 last year, had a .518 slugging percentage and finished with a .940 OPS (on-base plus slugging), in addition to doing a yeoman's work on the mound, tallying a 0.80 ERA, while striking out 84 and walking 19 over 52 1/3 innings of work.

But while those are eye-opening statistics, the Oregon State Beavers have been watching Lawson for a while, and the Jaguars standout made his college decision official this past Wednesday, Nov. 13, when he inked his letter of intent to play baseball in Corvallis.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play at a Division I school," Lawson said. "I've grown up watching the Beavers and been a lifelong fan. To get the chance to play for a team you've dreamed of playing for is a feeling like no other."

In spite of his dreams, even Lawson had a hard time believing it when it became a reality. Prior to the Oregon State offer, the 6-foot-5 pitcher and first baseman was eyeing places like Gonzaga, the University of Washington and University of California Santa Barbara. But when the Beavers came knocking, he quickly answered the door, despite his disbelief.

"I could not believe it was real," he said. "I never truly thought I would get the chance to play for a team such as Oregon State. It's nerve-wracking to think about how I'll be playing with and against guys who will be playing pro ball one day."

And that could be him, too. With his size and arm strength, which will likely only get better, Lawson could be drafted as soon as next spring. But despite a dream to one day play professionally, the Century senior has already decided that college is definitely in his future.

"I've already made up my mind that I'm going to college no matter what," Lawson said. "Even if I get drafted out of high school. But I want to be drafted after my junior year of college."

It's not all about baseball for Lawson, however, as he's already set his sights on what he'd like to do beyond college if baseball doesn't work out.

"I'm pretty certain I'll be studying kinesiology at Oregon State," he said. "I've always been interested in the human body and want to eventually become an athletic trainer later in my career."

Lawson said he'll remember the friends he's made in recent years, and especially last year's senior class, which was most in tune with his time as a Jaguar. He expressed gratitude to his parents and coaches for helping him meet his goal of playing Division I baseball.

"I would like to thank my parents for always pushing me to be better," Lawson said. "I would also like to thank all of my coaches throughout the years for giving me the opportunity to play for them and to let me do what I love. They have all helped make me into who I am today, and I cannot thank them enough."

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