It goes without saying that inside linebacker is a position of need for Florida. The loss of Brandon Spikes last year and Lorenzo Edwards this upcoming season, as well as Brendon Beal’s transfer to Minnesota, signifies the importance of landing a man in the middle.
Over the past three days, the Gators took a big step towards accomplishing that goal.
UF hosted linebacker Lamar Dawson from Thursday to Saturday and made quite an impression on the standout from Kentucky.
The 6-foot-2, 230 pounder took in the city of Gainesville for the first time, and the experience exceeded his expectations.
“It was a great place, great atmosphere,” Dawson said. “I really like it down here, it’s beautiful … more than what I expected.”
He spent time with Florida outside linebacker Dee Finley, who showed him around the campus and emphasized how the coaches treat the players like family. After spending time with head coach Urban Meyer, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and linebacker coach D.J. Durkin, Dawson felt the same the way.
The coaching staff envisions Dawson doing something similar to Spikes in the Gators’ scheme, and used the defensive line class Florida just signed as a selling point with the elite prospect.
Dawson is well aware that Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell will make his job much easier at UF.
“They’re the ones that will be getting the doubles teams and doing the dirty work, I’ll be the one looking good making the tackles,” Dawson said.
Florida, Kentucky and Louisville are the schools recruiting him the hardest. Although Kentucky was the front-runner for awhile, Dawson does not have a leader at the moment.
However, he admitted that the Gators have put themselves in great position with the unofficial visit.
“They want me. I saw the depth chart and they got two seniors at Mike linebacker leaving. So just the opportunity to be a player at one of the top schools,” Dawson said in response to what interests him about UF.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 3 inside linebacker by Rivals.com, Dawson said he will to return to Gainesville for the LSU game on October 9.
He hopes to make a decision after taking official visits, but said anything can happen.