Lamar Dawson exploring opportunities

Boyle County senior Lamar Dawson says his official visit to Oregon last weekend "was everything I expected" and gave him the opportunity he wanted to evaluate the school and the facilities.

It also didn't hurt that he got to see No. 2 Oregon beat Stanford and establish itself as a solid national championship contender.

"I was probably the most impressed with the fans and the facilities. That's what I really liked," said Dawson. "I got to talk to all the coaches and some of the players. That was pretty much like every other place I have been with what the coaches said and the players always really like the coaches."

Dawson was coming off a stellar performance against Lafayette when he had seven tackles and scored three touchdowns while showcasing his running and receiving skills on Friday night.

But he says rumors that Oregon sent a limousine to pick him up to take him to the airport in Lexington early Saturday morning only a few hours after he got back from the Lafayette game were not true. "

"It was a Lincoln town car and a car service, not a limousine. That was pretty neat but the talk about the limousine was not right," he laughed and said.

Of course, if Dawson needed a limousine, he could probably get one. That's what life is like when you are 6-2, 235 pounds and run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds — a time most high school skilled players can't match much less a linebacker or tight end.

He continues to have Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, Florida, USC, Michigan and Oregon as his top choices. And that's not likely to change for the four-star prospect who is rated as the state's top player and one of the best linebacker prospects in the country.

"The distance out to Oregon was probably the only bad thing about the trip, but I think I could overcome that if that is where I decided was best for me," Dawson said. "The trip helped me because I got to go out there and experience what football was like in Oregon."

Not long after Boyle County beats Lexington Catholic Friday — and the Rebels will win to prove again they are the best team in Class AAAA — Dawson will get ready for another trip. This will be an unofficial visit — and all-night drive — to Gainesville to watch Florida host LSU Saturday. This will be an unofficial visit as he'll save his official visit for after his season ends.

He went to camp at Florida last summer, but says this trip has a different purpose.

"I will get to see the game experience and what all goes on. It will also give me another chance to talk with the coaches and players," Dawson said.

He's not been to Kentucky recently — something that must drive UK recruiting coordinator Chuck Smith to insomnia. However, he will watch the Cats host Georgia on Oct. 23.

"Recruiting is still fun. I get a lot of calls from coaches and media people, but I still like it a lot," Dawson said. "I don't see my list of schools changing. A lot of people have asked me how my visit went to Oregon, but I did not commit. It was a great experience going, but I am not ready to make my choice yet."

That decision could be made in early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Dawson still does not have an official invitation, but he will be in the bowl game.

"There is a possibility I could do it at the game," Dawson said about committing during the nationally televised contest. "I really don't know, but that is a possibility."

Another possibility should be winning Mr. Football.

He started on last year's state championship team and has helped the Rebels win 21 straight games. He has a 3.7 grade-point average and his 22 on the ACT has him academically qualified to play as a freshman already. He's a big-time college prospect and two-way performer.

What more could he need to be Mr. Football?

"I don't even think about it. I just go out and play. Honestly, I never think or talk about being Mr. Football," Dawson said.

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