Sunshine State battle for Dawson
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Sunshine State battle for Dawson

Duke Dawson has said all season it'll be a battle between Florida and Florida State for his skills. The 2014 defensive back picked up offers from both programs at camp last summer and has remained focused on those two ever since. He's visited Florida several times this season, and last weekend took in his first game at Florida State when the ‘Noles welcomed the Gators. Get the latest here.

Duke Dawson has said several times that Florida has a slight in his recruitment, but he had never visited Florida State for a game. Saturday, he had his chance, and he plans to go back.

"It was great, being on the field before the game. It was getting crunk, they were getting ready. They played good music," Dawson said.

"They defense played good, they came out strong, it was just the mistakes they made (that cost them)."

The Dixie County (Cross City, FL) standout visited with his mom and two of his teammates.

"(My mom) liked it, she's just used to going to Florida, she hadn't had the chance to be there yet. I told her she needs to check out some other places too besides that one school," he said.

Dawson and his parents have become very close with the coaching staff at Florida because they've visited so many times. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete hopes to work on those relationships with the Florida State coaches too. Saturday, he spoke with FSU Defensive Ends Coach D.J. Eliot.

"He just said it was nice to see me there, stuff like that," Dawson said.

"It was okay, I guess because I haven't been visiting them a lot, I haven't talked too much with those guys. I guess when I start visiting more, that will change."

Dawson maintains he's looking for a family atmosphere and close bonds with coaches. Defensive scheme is less important.

"Whatever defense they play, I'll just fit in," he said.

Dawson still plans to announce his final decision in January at his football banquet. The banquet date hasn't been set yet, but he expects to visit both Florida and Florida State multiple times before then.