WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake Forest head football coach Reggie Lucas introduced a local football player at a recent Wake Forest High School football practice. Dexter Lawrence is a linebacker for the New York Giants.

“This is definitely where it all happened,” said Lawrence. “It’s nice to talk to the guys and give them my experiences in high school and how it helped me get to where I am today to just encourage them and keep them going with a positive mindset.”

That’s what Lawrence had when he was terrorizing opposing offenses during his prep years with the Wake Forest Cougars. Lawrence was the highest ranked player to ever come out of the Tar Heel state and was the number two player in the nation his senior year.

Three years at Clemson and now three years in the NFL with the New York Giants hasn’t pushed aside his most memorable moments on the grid iron.

“I played in a lot of big games, but this is just different,” said Lawrence of his high school years. “You’re playing in front of your home town and with the guys you grew up with.”

“Those type of bonds never end, they’re special bonds. In high school there were guys who knew me when I was nothing, a big little Dexter kind of thing.”

There’s nothing little about Dexter. At six-foot-four and 340 pounds with nimble feet for a big man, Lawrence burst onto the scene as a freshman at Wake Forest and every year his legend grew larger and larger. But despite playing at a pressure cooker like Clemson and now suiting up for the NFL’s Giants, Lawrence has managed to stay grounded.

“It’s definitely humbling to know I’m from little old Wake Forest, North Carolina and now I’m in the Big Apple,” laughed Lawrence. “So to come back here and become level and remember where I came from.”

As humble and grounded as Lawrence is, that doesn’t mean this small town kid can’t dream big.

“Before I quit playing my goal is to become legendary, to leave an imprint on the game that nobody else has left,” Lawrence admitted. “That’s my ultimate goal.”