Focus 2010: Getting to Know Andre Dawson

The state of Iowa produced an unusually large crop of skilled position players in this last recruiting class, with the 'big three' of Brandon Wegher, Keenan Davis and Jordan Cotton committing to Iowa. The Class of 2010 looks pretty solid, too, with running back Andre Dawson and quarterback/athlete AJ Derby leading the way. HN.com provides you an early look at Dawson in this update.

When people think about Cedar Rapids Washington football for the 2008 season, Keenan Davis' name usually comes to mind. Or they think about the quarterback, Wyatt Seuss, that threw Davis the football. But a name you should begin to focus on is Andre Dawson.

‘The Hawk', as his friends refer to him, took flight this year in a big way. When you have 1,778 total yards of offense, and 28 total touchdowns, people take notice.

His nickname stems from former MLB all-star Andre Dawson, who played 10+ seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos. His high school football coach, Tony Lombardi, has a completely different name for the 6-2/215 pound bruising back.

"My coach calls me ‘The Horse'," Dawson says. "He tells me it is because I like to carry the ball. I really like to run at and over people. I am not a slashing back."

Dawson's abilities have not gone unnoticed in the recruiting world, either.  He is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com for the Class of 2010. 

  "I have offers from Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, and Wisconsin." Dawson said. "I am also getting letters from Oregon and Oklahoma. Alabama is on me big-time, too. I just got offers to visit for junior days at Florida State and Nebraska."

 Dawson does not have a list of favorites yet. He wants to take his time and make the best decision for his future. One school might have made an inroad a long time ago. Proximity may play a factor.

"I have always been a Hawkeye fan." Dawson proclaims. "Being that close to home would be great. My friends and family would have the chance to see me play. That is a big plus."

That being said, Iowa fans should not jump to any early conclusions.

"I plan to take my time (in the recruiting process)." Andre says. "I am just going to keep my options open. I am not ready to settle down with anything quite yet."

Give a quick synopsis on your team for next season.

I don't think we are going to be as good. But, if some of our guys step up, I think we could get back to (the) State (playoffs).

Describe what it was like to play with Keenan Davis and Wyatt Seuss.

Playing with those guys is not something you can put into words. You have two great role models playing for you, and they know how to pick guys up. I think we are going to miss that a lot next year.

Who are some of the colleges that have offered you/you are hearing from?

I recently got an offer from Kansas. Also, I have offers from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. I have been hearing a lot from Oregon and Alabama, big time. I also get a lot of mail from Oklahoma. I was recently offered to go to Junior Days at Florida State and Nebraska. The recruiting process is going pretty well.

Are you planning to camp anywhere this summer?

I am not planning to go to any camps. I will probably just go to campuses with my coach and look at them for this year.

Do you have a top 5 list, or any favorites, at the present time?

Not really. I am just trying to keep my options open. I am not ready to settle down with anything quite yet.

Being 20 minutes away from the University of Iowa, have you been on campus yet?

Yeah. I have had the opportunity to visit there many times. I was recently at their junior day.

What are your thoughts on Iowa?

Iowa is a great school. It is a school close to home, so a lot of my friends and family could watch me play football. That is a big plus. I know a few people at Iowa. That is good.

Is playing with Keenan and Wyatt again a good thought?

I think it would be really fun having the chance to play with those guys.

What kind of player are you?

My nickname is ‘The Hawk', because of former MLB player Andre Dawson  - whose nickname was ‘The Hawk'. My coach (Washington Head Coach Tony Lombardi) likes to call me ‘The Horse' because I am a powerful running back that likes to carry the ball. I can get the short yardage and, if I need to, I can get to the first down marker. So, he likes to call me ‘The Horse'.

What kind of on-field vision do you possess?

My coach says I have on-field vision that he has not seen for a while. I am guessing that is pretty good. When I see a defender, I do not try to be quote-unquote ‘slashy'. I try to go right through them.

Talk about your weight training.

I go to the weight room every morning and after school. In the morning, I have a weight training class. After school, I work on specific running back drills.

Do you think the success of Washington has helped with your recruitment?

I would think so. We have had a lot of good players here like Dedric Ward, Adrian Arrington, and Keenan Davis. I would think having a coach who has been in the NFL, coached in college for 15 years, he knows a lot of people. He tends to get our videos out to a lot of schools. That is definitely a plus in recruitment.

What are your pass catching abilities?

If you need a swing pass, I can catch easy. Long passes? I am getting better at it. The coaches tell me all the time that catching the ball will help my recruitment.

What is your dream college scenario?

A good coach that can get me to the next level. To play with guys that will help me out. I like a team that does not focus on one player, but the whole team. Look at Iowa. They have a great offensive line, and the like to run the ball.

Growing up in Eastern Iowa, have you paid a lot of attention to Iowa?

Oh yeah. I have always been an Iowa fan and watching their games. I used to go to a lot of games when I was little, too.  It would be fun to play there someday, but there is a lot that is going on between now and then (the end of his recruiting process).

THE DAWSON FILE:

  • Rushed for 1485 yards on 271 carries (5.5 yards per carry)
  • 30 receptions for 291 yards
  • 28 total TD (27 rushing, 1 receiving)
  • Gained 231 yards in week 4 against CR Kennedy
  • 187 yards in the playoff opener versus Muscatine
  • 2nd team All-State Back Iowa Newspaper Association
  • 1st team All-MVC back
  • 2nd team Des Moines Register 4A All-State
  • Recorded :11.0 in the 100m in 2008

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