Dixie recruit eyes Gators

Defensive back Duke Dawson, left, defends on a passing drill during Friday Night Lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on July 27.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, August 6, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 6, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.

Dixie County junior defensive back Duke Dawson said when he was a little kid he dreamed of playing football for Florida or Florida State.

The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Dawson entered Friday Night Lights hosted by UF on July 27, with scholarship offers from both the Gators and Seminoles. Following the one-night workout he said Florida holds a slight edge in the competition for his future services.

“I talked to T-Rob (Travaris Robinson, UF's defensive backs coach), coach (Will) Muschamp and I talked to coach (offensive coordinator, Brent) Pease,” Dawson said. “They were talking when they saw me, saying, ‘are you ready to be a Gator?'

“I said, I will one day probably.”

Dawson, who still has two years left to suit up for Dixie County, said he will probably verbally commit to a school following this upcoming season.

“Florida is showing a lot of love, Florida State is showing love too, but Florida is showing a little bit more love,” Dawson said. “Coach T-Rob calls and checks up on me and asks me how I am doing.”

Dawson was the Bears quarterback for most of last season, but Dixie County coach Brent Wilkerson said he will line up at wide receiver in addition to playing defensive back this fall. Dawson is being recruited as a defensive back, which was the position group he worked out with July 27.

“It went pretty good,” Dawson said. “Defense, we did a lot of drills, stuff to help us on our cutting and stuff like that.”

As a sophomore for Dixie County (5-5), Dawson was 30-for-78 passing for 474 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 379 yards and five touchdowns on 71 carries, while posting 21 tackles and three interceptions on defense.

“This is going to help me in the long run,” said Dawson about FNL. “I expected a lot of competition and we had it. I did pretty good.”

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