Trotwood Madison standout Reon Dawson didn’t anticipate having to deal with recruiting twists and turns at this stage of his high school career, but that’s exactly what he is doing in the aftermath of Michigan offering him a scholarship earlier this month. For the past few weeks the longtime Illinois commit has again been pondering his collegiate future, and the Wolverines are receiving serious consideration. As a matter of fact he strongly considered taking an official visit to Ann Arbor December 14th, but opted instead to stick with a prior plan.
“What had happened was I had told Illinois that I was going to come (on an official visit December 14th-16th) before Michigan even offered me,” Dawson explained. “That’s when Michigan tried to get me to come. I finally just told Coach (Mark) Smith that I was going to stay loyal to Illinois and go visit them on my official first. I plan on going to Michigan January 11th.”
Dawson will be doing a lot of thinking between now and then. All the while a few of his Trotwood Madison comrades will be doing their best to turn his thoughts toward the Maize & Blue.
“Mike McCray and his dad put something in my ear every day,” Dawson said laughingly. “Roy Roundtree, Mike Shaw and Brandon Moore were up at the school (on December 20th) talking to me getting in my ear. It’s all around me every day… literally (laughter). (McCray) will see me in the hallway and say ‘Go Blue!’ I knew Mike (Shaw) and Roy, but I didn’t really know Brandon like that. During the summer Roy came down when we were working out and we had to check him. It was all bad! (Laughter) Me and Roy text a lot. He tries to get me. We’ll see. I think about it.”
The recruiting pitches from his friends have certainly been impactful, but those from the Michigan coaching staff have been even more so. The two sides had always harbored interest in the one another, but they wound up being passing ships. When Brady Hoke & company discovered the need for more corners, they took a second look at Dawson. What they saw a player whose game had grown significantly.
“One thing I improved on was tackling,” stated Dawson. “Once I improved in tackling that’s when I started getting more offers. That’s when I got Michigan.”
“I didn’t play my freshman year because I thought I was going to go to college for basketball or track. I really didn’t play my sophomore year. I got in a couple games, but junior year was when I really stepped on the scene with Cam and all of them. They really made me better because going against them every day. You’ve got to get better or you’re going to be on the sideline. I’ve got good recovery speed, I’ve got good ball skills, I’m long, and that allows me to check longer receivers. When I went to Illinois they measured me at 6-2, 175.”
Now the three star corner is left weighing the appeal of playing college football with one of his good friends for one of college football’s preeminent programs versus remaining loyal to the school that offered him first.
“I’m debating on that now,” Dawson admitted. “I’m going to really evaluate it when I get back from my visit to Michigan and then decide on what’s best for me.”
The talented youngster plans to consult his family for their input along the way. Make that some of his family.
“My dad doesn’t really care and my mom doesn’t really care,” said Dawson. “They said it’s mainly my decision. I really want to know they’re opinion though. But most of my family members are Buckeye fans. They don’t like Michigan. They sort of put that out there (laughter). I’m glad (Michigan) didn’t give me the offer before Thanksgiving. That would have been all bad. That dinner would have been quiet! (Laughter).”
How quiet they’ll be at future Thanksgiving dinners remains to be seen. How well the Wolverines live up to his decision criteria during his upcoming official will ultimately tell the tale.
“I’ll look at education first because I need something to fall back on if I get hurt or something,” said Dawson. “I’m going to look more into my major when I go up there. I’m just going to go up there, then come home to evalutate both schools, make a list, and then tell everybody where I’m go. I’ll probably wait until signing day, but I don’t know yet.”
“I’m still committed to Illinois, but we’ll see what happens.”