Mutual decision for Lawson, Florida to part ways


The inevitable finally happened Wednesday night as Crestview linebacker Dillan Lawson let it be known that he is no longer part of Florida’s 2013 class.

Speculation has swirled all summer that the Gators would lose Lawson, who was one of six recruits to commit to UF coach Will Muschamp on Florida’s second Junior Day in February.

The ESPN300 member encountered some academic issues in the spring and transferred to an alternative school (Okaloosa Youth Academy) to improve his grades.

In late May, Crestview coach Kevin Pettis said the UF coaches told Lawson they would honor his commitment as he tried to get back on track academically.

But this week, Muschamp & Co. came to the conclusion that Lawson hadn’t shown enough improvement and the two parties decided it was best to split.

“It was a mutual decision,” Pettis said. “They told him, ‘You need to work on your academic situation and we’ll be here for you once you get everything squared away.’ He’s back at Crestview now and doing all the things academically that he’s supposed to be doing. But we’re still trying to make up core classes to boast his GPA and ACT.”

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Lawson, who could not be reached for comment and has hardly spoken to the media since he pledged to the Gators, revealed the news Wednesday while camping at Florida State.

Here’s what he told ESPN’s Derek Tyson, who was in attendance and first broke the story.

“I’d love to go to Florida, don’t get me wrong. I’d still love to go to Florida … They have my word. Whatever they can work out academically with the school work. If we can get that back on the road, then I’m there. It all depends on my schoolwork. If I can get it caught up and made up by graduation then I’m there.”

Lawson has opened up his recruitment and will visit some other schools, but he still speaks with UF linebacker coach D.J. Durkin and plans to be at Friday Night Lights on July 27.

Pettis believes there’s a 70 percent chance Lawson could end up a Gator again, though a lot of that will depend on his academic standing as a senior.

“This didn’t happen because he’s not interested in Florida,” Pettis said. “Coach Muschamp and the staff did a great job with him. I just think Dillan realized he needed to look at some other places and I told him if you’re going to do that you have to decommit so that Florida can go out there and recruit another player.

“There is no way that I’m going to let a kid be committed to somewhere and then go look somewhere else. I just don’t believe in that.”

Florida’s 2013 recruiting class now has 17 verbal commitments, 11 of which are ESPN300 members.

Photo taken from Crestview’s website


  1. UM might be getting sued. Ray Ray Armstrong is one of the guys that spoke up about the dirty little (not so secret) of the athletic department and their prized booster Shapiro.

    Essentially he was a whistle blower and now he is dropped from the team. Isn’t that illegal to do to a whistle blower?

    PS they will get off lighlty because their ex Athletic Director (Paul Dee) is part of the NCAA and has not bothered to recuse himself from the situastion. He has been lobbying hard for leniency. another little know dirty secret about Da U

  2. PS I know Dee died recently but he fought hard for leniency, even before the whole mess became a public nightmare.

    Dee’s legacy:
    Under Dee’s watch, the University of Miami athletic program was sanctioned by the NCAA in 1995. Eighty students, 57 of whom were football players, falsified their Pell Grant applications, illegally securing more than $220,000 in federal grant money. Federal officials described the scam as “perhaps the largest centralized fraud … ever committed in the history of the Pell Grant program. Moreover, the University provided over $400,000 worth of other, improper payments to Miami football players. The NCAA also ruled that the University failed to wholly implement its drug-testing program, and permitted three football student-athletes to compete without being subject to the required disciplinary measures specified in the policy. – 1995 folks – Da U has been up to no good for a long long time.

    Talk about the fox watchng the hen house:
    According to news reports, from 2002 through the end of Dee’s tenure, booster Nevin Shapiro provided Miami football and basketball players with numerous benefits that violated NCAA rules including hundreds of thousands of dollars, gifts, prostitutes, access to yachts and housing, and expensive social events.
    After leaving Miami, Dee was chairman of the Committee on Infractions at the NCAA, the committee responsible for enforcing NCAA rules and punishing violators. – the guy was in on it and then when the stuff hit the fan again he was the guy in charge of investigating his old employer. Fish rots from the head!

  3. AHHHH…Glad you figure out Paul Dee passed away months ago and Ray Ray was still hanging around agents after being told to stop (because of Miami issues). He posted a pic and they let him go, now maybe they should of let him go earlier for the NFL supplement draft, but oh well.
    I don’t think he will be suing anyone. But I will agree Miami has been cheating for a long time ….even before 1995. One last think I like Dooley!

  4. Man, this article was written by Zach not Pat, and it was a good article, and yet most of the comments are off topic. How is this the place to go hating on Pat? Do it on one of his articles if you are going to do it. The bit about Paul Dee could have been brought up in the forums. It might could have turned into an interesting discussion there.

    Back to the topic of the story. It is good to see something like this where even though it is a negative situation, all of the guys are acting on good faith. Dillan at least trying to get his academics straight (not all high school prospects do). His coach teaching him the right and wrong way to handle his business. The Gators giving him a chance, but letting him know when it looked like it might not work out so that both parties can do what is best for their future. This is how we keep from having a repeat of the Dante Phillips situation.

  5. Applespie need to shut up and or else go visit Dooley in person and smack-talk him in person. lol Amazing how brave some are behind the anomymity of the internet, eh? 😉

    As for Lawson, I hope the young man can get his grades in order. Good luck Mr. lawson!

  6. Thanks for the comment.., and the information. I like the honesty of the Muschamp era. Very refreshing turn of events from the previous……
    Oh, and the behavior/discipline has been short and sweet in the case of the offenders.

  7. Pettis should be promoted over all high school football coaches. Someone who teaches his kids to do it right. It’s okay if you want to visit 20 schools during your recruitment, but don’t tell a school you’re committed to them if you’re still looking around. Well done, coach!!

  8. This is all smoke and mirrors … the REAL reason Dylan Lawson “decommitted” has NOTHING to do with grades … in truth, he wants to play for a far better program … LSU !!! … HAHAHAHA !!!

  9. There is a great article by Mike Bianchi Orlando Sentinel comparing the approach to discipline taken by UM and WM. The difference should strength the hope that WM turns the program around and is successful. And, yes, I did predict a 7-5 season for UF. For those of you with remedial reading skills that is not the same as writing that I hope that it happens. A prediction is just that a prediction. If any of you have access to an English dictionary try looking up the word prediction. Take my word for it, ‘prediction’ is not something only written by a ‘troll’, a ‘jerk’, a ‘loser’; I’m sure I have left out a few.

  10. EMK- Its your ‘in your face’ way of expressing it. I don’t think 7-5 is way off the mark either. We could go 6-6 on the low end and could very easily be 10-2 on the positive end. But, when you express it on here it comes across as …….. ‘this team will suck again, I say 7-5, now suck on that’. Thats where the terms “loser”, “jerk” and “troll” come in.

  11. What is that rant that applespie have going on, last week all of (App’s) comments were about Pat Dooley. Doesn’t Pat have a Blog that you guys that are worried about Pat can go on and air your thoughts. This is the “Prospectus” it’s for recruiting information and the things associated with it, lets try to keep that in mind when we come to post, take the Pat Dooley stuff else where (no disrespect to Mr. Dooley). GO GATORS!!!!

  12. Thanks applespie, and no hard feelings from me but I think it’s only fair to all of us, we come here to talk about recruits and the state of the program. Again, thanks for your consideration. GO GATORS!!!!

  13. LAWSON case handled well. Good luck to LAWSON.
    We will lose recruits! They will see a phillips as player that was highly recruited by UF, signed LOI! Was cleared to play by NCAA. Then was refused admission. It will be very hard to explain that away.
    I do not know the communications procedure between coach WM and UF admissions office, but that kind of screw up is unbelievable.
    If anyone can make any sense of it I would be glad to understand.


  14. Gator Buck, this thing put a bad taste in my mouth as well. I must admit I don’t know the full story and on the surface it looks as though we gave the kid a “RAW DEAL”. Again, let me state that “I do not know what the REAL or WHOLE story is, but the surface story stinks”. I would like to think that there was a communications problem here and something that we can correct real soon, not saying that the kid will be allowed in at a later date. I’m saying correct it before it happens again to some one else and then we really have recruiting problems. Because you and everyone else knows this is going to be USED by other Coaches against UF, even if it was legit, it will be turned around and twisted to at the very least look like a careless act on behalf of our coaches and University. GO GATORS!!!!

  15. U guys crack me u throw dee into this.the man was dead months before this story broke.he had nothing to do with investigating us.why can’t u people use your brains before you post such dribble.& stick to subjects you have a clue about.all these insiders & none of you have a single clue of what goes on all throughout every level of collegiate athletics & rampantly at uf as well.if ever u all decide to discipline ur players the football program will become obsolete.& were called thug u…morons

  16. Mr. Golden may have difficulty recruiting now that he has been fingered as knowingly participating in recruoting violationis. The beat goes on in Coral Gables. Cheat baby cheat. Its what U do.

  17. I don’t see Phillips as a negative for recruiting. If a kid brings it up, you just say that Phillips had requirements to get in, he knew those requirements, he didn’t meet them, and he didn’t tell the coaches that he hadn’t met them. Had he met his commitments, or told coaches before signing day that he couldn’t meet them, all this could have been avoided.
    I think telling a kid there are consequences to not living up to your end of the deal is a positive. You will get kids who will work to get their end up, and kids who think they can sluff off and still get in won’t be wasting our time.

  18. Hey Applesauce,
    Paul Dee must have learned to cheat in college at UFelony. 107 violations in the 80’s. Shut your yap, until all the facts are out. You should be nervous about the NCAA over stepping their bounds with Penn State, Urban and his 40 arrests are fair game now! BTW Will Muschump is on a pace to break Oscar Meyer’s record.

  19. C’mon Joe, that was some weak smack.
    Besides, if any coach is going to have his tenure revisited it’s Butch Davis at UM. Were there ANY rules he didn’t break? And then when the NCAA starts talking about UM, he leaves the greatest collection of future NFL talent in history to coach the CLEVELAND BROWNS? I mean, a good NFL team, I could see it, but Cleveland? CLEVELAND???
    That just shows he was trying to get out of Coral Gables before the hangman got there. I’d say the problems at North Carolina alone are reason enough to go back and look at those days. You willing to do that, Joe?