Dawson is fun to coach

When you watch Duke Dawson play the game of football, you see someone that just plays the game hard. Committed to the University of Florida to play cornerback, he has the athletic ability to play the position, but he hits like he wants to hurt someone. Dawson's head coach Brent Wilkerson at Dixie County High School in Cross City, Florida says he is going to miss his star player.

Dixie County played their last game two weeks ago in a last minute loss to Trenton who moved on to play for the state championship at the 1-A level. Duke Dawson is a guy that can shut down the star receiver on the other team and in fact that night the Trenton offense did virtually nothing through the air.

Wilkerson says that Dawson is much more than jus what you see on the field.

"He's a football player… he is tremendous," the head coach said. "I am going to miss him. He's good on the field, off the field he's a great kid. That is probably more important than football anyway. He is also a lot of fun, even when he isn't on the football field, that's what I love about him."

In the game that night Trenton didn't test Dawson very much. Instead they relied on a pounding running game. Dawson left his man several times to go make a tackle and also provided some much needed punch on offense in the 17-14 loss. On one particular 4th and 1 play, Coach Wilkerson called timeout and inserted Dawson who ran for 14 yards on the play.

"He's a tremendous football player played his heart out," the coach said. He went out there and played some wildcat quarterback for us and got us several key first downs. They didn't throw the ball a lot so he didn't get to make many plays in the secondary."

Unfortunately Dawson didn't see the end of his last football season. mIdway through the fourth quarter, he sprinted to make a tackle inside and was hit in the head. The awkward shot gave him a concussion and he would miss the last six minutes or so of the contest.

"When he got the concussion, he was coming up there and filling for an ISO plays," Wilkerson said. "Many corners don't do that. He's going to be fun for Florida to have to coach."

Dawson plays the game physical, much like the Florida staff wants and needs of their corners. His 6-foot, 195 pound frame is one that shouls allow him to be physically ready to compete the day he steps on campus. His willingness to be coached also says a lot about his chances to play early for the Gators.

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