Kan Li / Scout

Gator Wildcard Week: Duke Dawson

Every day this week we are going to talk about one of the players on the 2016 Gators that can have a huge impact that hasn’t already done so. We are going to call this the Wildcard because there is a bit of the unknown. Saturday’s Wildcard is cornerback Duke Dawson.

How he got to Florida: The true junior arrived form the class of 2014 in January after graduating from Dixie County High School early. Duke Dawson was a Semper Fi All-American and part of the top defensive back class in America that cycle. Dawson committed in January of 2013, over a year before he put pen to paper to sign with the Gators.

http://www.scout.com/player/170805-duke-dawson?s=168&year=2016

What has he done at Florida:  It’s been a relatively quiet career so far for Dawson, but it didn’t start that way. In the first game of his career against Eastern Michigan, he intercepted a pass and took it back 36 yards for a touchdown. In his two years he has played in 25 games, but totaled 24 tackles. He has been used sparingly.

Why is he a Wildcard?: Because of the lack of playing time, it seems that there has been something missing. He was playing safety in much of that time and a bit at NICKEL, but Dawson lost a good 15 pounds or so to get into better shape to make a move at corner and NICKEL.

He had a very productive spring and then turned it on in the Orange and Blue Debut where he intercepted two passes and also took one of those back for a touchdown.

If Dawson can be a productive player at corner and NICKEL, this secondary could turn it up a notch for a group that is already expected to be very good, but doesn’t really have the depth you would like. 


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