Dawson has 11 scholly offers already

Linebacker Lamar Dawson plays at Boyle County and has a former teammate, tight end, Jordan Aumiller already playing at the University of Kentucky.

Linebacker Lamar Dawson plays at Boyle County and has a former teammate, tight end, Jordan Aumiller already playing at the University of Kentucky.

One of Boyle's all-time best players, Jacob Tamme, went to Kentucky and had a brilliant athletic and academic career and is now in the National Football League.

Another former Boyle standout, Taylor Begley, set numerous place-kicking records at Kentucky.

And then there is Chuck Smith. He guided Boyle to five straight state championships and six straight state title berths before leaving to join the Kentucky staff where he is now the recruiting coordinator and linebacker coach.

So is there any doubt Dawson, a four-star recruit, will play for the Wildcats? Yes there is. He already has 11 scholarship offers and recently Southern California had an assistant coach fly to Danville in a private plane to visit Dawson. He's got an offer from Florida. He likes Alabama. He' got offers from Oregon. He has the grades to accept offers to Stanford or Oregon. His five official visits could be to perhaps Oregon, Michigan, Florida, Alabama and USC. How impressive is that for a Kentucky player? That's similar to the treatment players like Dennis Johnson and Micah Johnson got before they both eventually picked UK and had very good careers.

So how are teams trying to convince Dawson to leave the Bluegrass? There's one common theme.

"Teams are telling him there is nothing wrong with Kentucky if he wants to compete for fourth place in the SEC Eastern Division (behind Florida, Georgia and Tennessee)," said one person familiar with Dawson's recruitment. "A coach will tell him he can compete for fourth in the division at Kentucky or for a conference championship and BCS bowl berth at his school. That's been a pretty constant selling point in his recruitment and something Kentucky has to overcome."

Dawson will not make a quick decision — and he's such a nice young man that he will likely have trouble telling coaches no that he has gotten to know and like. He admits that Louisville coach Charlie Strong has been persuasive in his recruiting pitch, something that is especially troubling to UK fans. Smith knows all this and certainly won't lose Dawson without a huge recruiting battle. Dawson is considered a top 100 recruit nationally by some recruiting services and losing him would be a big PR hit for coach Joker Phillips as well as Smith.

Kentucky needs to keep big-time players like Dawson, who had 160 tackles last year, in the Bluegrass and to do that is going to have to find a way to combat the recruiting pitch other coaches are using about the Cats' status in the SEC Eastern Division.


AllWildcats Top Stories