A to Z with Duke Dawson
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:33 p.m.
School: Dixie County
Jersey number: 6
Weight: 197 pounds
Area football player I would pay to watch play: Alphonso Timmons from Chiefland. That's my cousin. He's a physical back, and he's a hard runner.
Biggest rivalry game my team was looking forward to this season … It was against Trenton (an 18-7 win). It's always been an intense game. They're just a few miles up the road from us, and we've always competed in every sport we've played.
Coach Brent Wilkerson's best words of advice for me: Before every game he tells us just to play assignment football, read our keys and play some DC football.
Day of the game, I do what to prepare myself? I listen to music, and I think about my mom, dad and my family. That's what motivates me.
Earliest sports memory? I always wanted to go somewhere and play ball. I'm chasing my dreams right now, and I've just got to keep striving for better.
Favorite type of music and recording artist: I listen to all types, and I don't listen to just one. But I listen to Chief Keef, I listen to Lil Boosie and Webbie.
Getting Dixie County to the playoffs for the first time since 2009 will take ... We have to play as one team. Everybody has to play as one and keep everybody up.
How I found out I was nominated to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 5, 2014: They called my phone and my mom and my dad's phone. It felt good. I never thought I'd have the chance to play in an All-American game.
Interesting thing about me away from football: I like to hang out with my friends and my family. I like to joke and just have fun.
Joker on the team: There's a few of them. We have (Dylan) Reed, Shaquille Mitchem, Sonny Pierre. We have Isaiah Pierre and we have Akeem Sholtz. We have a lot of jokers on our team.
Key to staying undefeated and winning our District 7-1A matchup against No. 1 Union County on Friday is … Well for one thing, I always tell our guys never to get a big head. Come out and play like you've been playing and play your assignment and everything will fall into place.
Least favorite Dixie County sports moment: The Perry (Taylor County) game last year (a 20-19 loss). We fought for four quarters, but it was just certain things and mental mistakes that we missed. I wish we could go back and correct, but it's behind us. We moved on to this year, and we finally beat them (22-7) this year.
My pick to win this year's BCS national championship: I'm a Gator, but I'd have to say Alabama.
Nickname? Nah, they just call me Duke.
One person in my life who inspires me the most: I'd have to say my mom. She's been there since Day 1. She's given me a lot of advice about life, not just only about football. We talk about a lot of things.
Potential college major: I want to major in business.
Quiet-time activity: I just hang out with my friends, and when I'm not doing that, I go up to the high school and train.
Reason I verbally committed to play at Florida in January: Since the first camp I went to, I liked the atmosphere there. I just liked how everything went. I liked the coaches, and since then we've been close and we've been getting closer. It was just my dream to play college ball, and I got the opportunity to play. I was a Florida State fan, but it was just all the love I was getting from the Florida coaches.
Sports movie that I like to watch: “Friday Night Lights.”
Twitter or Facebook? Facebook.
Uniform combination I like to wear the most: My favorite combination I'd have to say is the all red that we have this year.
Vacation spot I love: Daytona Beach.
Who I've been most impressed with from watching the Gators' secondary play this season: Those boys have done a great job playing this year. Vernon Hargreaves (III), he's done a wonderful job as a freshman. Me and Vernon Hargreaves are great friends, too. I talk to him every time I got to the camp. Another big guy I like is Loucheiz Purifoy. That's who I look up to as an idol. Marcus Roberson is a great player, too. They are all great corners.
Xbox, PlayStation or Wii? PlayStation.
Year I was born: 1995.
Zoo animal I like most: Lion.