Lamar Dawson decision on the horizon

Lamar Dawson spoke to KSR's Larry Vaught about his recruitment. Dawson said of his upcoming decision, "I just have to make the best decision for me. I'm sure my heart and emotions will be part of it, but I just have to be smart enough to make the best decision for me," Dawson said."

Lamar Dawson says spending last week in San Antonio as part of the U.S. Army All-American bowl gave him a brief break from his hectic recruiting pace. However, now it's all about recruiting again for the Boyle County linebacker who is considered the state's best player by most recruiting analysts. has his rated as the nation's sixth best middle linebacker.

He'll make an official visit to Southern California this weekend and then go to Central Florida and Tennessee the next two weekends. After that, he'll narrow his list of college choices — Kentucky, Florida and Oregon also remain on his list — to one that he will announce on Feb. 2, the first day of the national signing period.

"The game was just a fun experience. Meeting everybody was the best part of it," Dawson said. "It was pretty amazing how fast and big all the players were. It was kind of like a preview of playing college football for me. Everybody rotated in and out during the game, so it was fun."

He says players really didn't spend much time talking about recruiting.

"We just talk like regular people. We did not really talk about football," he said. "Most of what we did was all football. There was not a lot of free time."

Dawson's trip to USC has been planned for months, just as his one to Oregon during his season was.

"I've heard a lot about California and LA (Los Angeles). I love the history and tradition of USC football. They are telling me I can come in early and compete for playing time, which is important to me."

He made a late switch to visit Central Florida after Michigan fired coach Rich Rodriguez. Until then, Dawson had Michigan on his final seven schools. He says Central Florida is a "team on the rise" after it beat Georgia in a bowl game and "they told me I could start right away."

However, it will take a lot for Central Florida to jump to the top of his list.

"I wanted to take all my visits. It's a free trip, so I am going to take it just to check out the school," he said.

His final visit has always been scheduled for Tennessee. He admits he likes first-year coach Derek Dooley.

Dawson didn't eliminate Florida totally after coach Urban Meyer resigned because he likes new coach Will Muschamp and the Gators have "one of the best programs" in the nation. However, he didn't take an official visit as scheduled to Florida. He also denied early rumors/reports that he was leaning to Florida when Meyer was still there.

"There was never a case where Florida was my leader," Dawson said. "I will probably have a better idea what I am going to do after I take these three visits. Right now there really is not a school leading."

Some Kentucky fans have worried the Wildcats play in a regular-season loss at Tennessee and bowl game to Pittsburgh to end the season may have soured Dawson on the Cats.

"Wins or losses really don't make a difference," he said. "The biggest thing is knowing the coach or coaches who have recruited me are still there. I am probably going to sit down with my family after all my visits and go from there."

Dawson, who has a 3.7 grade-point average, has not put "much thought" into how he'll handle his announcement other than it will be on the first day of the national signing period.

"We will probably just have something at the school," he said.

He says his "head and heart" will both play a role in his decision.

"I just have to make the best decision for me. I'm sure my heart and emotions will be part of it, but I just have to be smart enough to make the best decision for me," Dawson said. "I just have to figure out where I want to spend the next four years of my life and then trust my decision."

AllWildcats Top Stories