Curtis Dawson put some punishing hits on opponents last year, leading the 6A state champion Hoover Bucs defense at the linebacker position. Dawson is currently 6-2, 253 pounds, bigger than two of the Tide's defensive line signees (Jeramie Holifield and Travis McCall), as well as Bama starting defensive end Mark Anderson. His size has caused speculations among some fans about whether or not he'll move to the defensive line at Alabama.
About staying at linebacker, Dawson only said he "hopes" he stays at the position. He proved that he has the speed and smarts at the position as one of the state's best high school linebackers in his senior season.
He has been learning about middle linebacker in pass skel drills from the likes of Freddie Roach and Cornelius Wortham. Like every other incoming freshman on campus early, Dawson hopes his head start on strength and conditioning will help him earn his way onto the field.
"It's different," Dawson said of Kent Johnston's strength and conditioning program. "It's definitely a different thing for me. Coming from a winning program I thought I could be prepared for this but it's tough, man. But we're getting better and that's the most important part.
"Coach Johnston is a very strict guy. On time, you've got to be very… patient. I'm new and trying to learn all this stuff so fast. We don't have a lot of depth right now so I have to try to pack it all in and get ready for the season."
Dawson is currently listed as a linebacker on the Tide's depth chart, but it's not inconceivable that he could be asked to move to the line once the Alabama defensive coaches get an up-close look at Dawson on the field. Dawson is definitely big enough to take the punishment.
"I just want to get in there and contribute to the team and hopefully have a winning season this year," he said.