Iowa Running Back wowed by Spring-Game

Running back Andre Dawson had more than a few offers going into his Husker visit. But he wasn't against adding another. This trip was a chance to see a school he was interested in, while getting an idea to see how much interest they had in him. After his visit Dawson thinks he has a much better idea.

With offers already from Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Illinois, Purdue and Cincinnati, running back Andre Dawson doesn't exactly need the attention. He's got it, but after his junior season where the 6-1, 200-pound power back bulled his way to 1,485 yards rushing, scoring 27 touchdowns, that shouldn't be a surprise.

But a visit like the one he took to Nebraska yesterday isn't about seeking more attention. It's about seeking more opportunities.

A different school, different coaches, different location – they all offer each recruit a different look into the future. Chances are they are all good schools, but like many recruits Dawson is looking for the right combination of both.

Nebraska may have just show him that.

"Nebraska was amazing. It's really hard to put into words, actually," he said. "You hear a lot about schools you go visit and then you see it for yourself. Nebraska was everything I heard and more."

Joining close to a hundred other recruits Dawson took in what is essentially nothing more than a glorified practice. Well, a practice with close to 80 thousand people in attendance. Even with the crowd taken out of the equation, though, Dawson said that this wasn't like any practice he had ever seen. "You look at how the coaches interacted with the players yesterday, if that's a practice I can't even imagine what a real game is like," he said. "The coaches are into it, and when you make a good play you got Coach Bo there running over to give them a pat on the back."

Dawson came into this visit without an offer, and he'd admit that outside of wanting to learn a bit more about Nebraska, he wouldn't mind if he would have walked out with one when he left Lincoln. That didn't happen, but what did happen Dawson said gives him hope for the future. "While all the other recruits were in this big group of hosts, me, my aunt and uncle had a host of our own," he said. "And then Coach Bo brought us into the office to talk to us, which I thought was interesting.

"I guess if they weren't interested in me they wouldn't talk to me at all, but he wanted to talk to me and explain their current situation."

What Dawson said was relayed to him was Pelini voicing interest in Dawson, of course, but wanting to get a handle on just what kind of situation they have at running back right now. Going into the 2009 season the Huskers will have two experienced backs in juniors Roy Helu Jr. and Quentin Castille. But it gets a bit thin after that. While they certainly have talent and potential in players like sophomore Austin Jones and redshirt freshmen Lester Ward, Collins Okafor and Jordan Makovicka, even now with the Spring game in the rearview mirror nothing is for certain.

When it is, Dawson will likely know if he's going to get that offer or not.

And he certainly wouldn't mind if he did. In fact, he says that's one he's really hoping he gets.

"I had a friend who played baseball there, and he has said nothing but good things about the school. But it's really a lot more than that," he said. "Nebraska, when I was there, it just feels like a place you could call home, because it kind of feels like that even though you don't really know all that much about the place.

"I know if they offered Nebraska would shoot up to the top."

It's a horrible question, really. To ask what someone thought of a trip, asking them to give it a rating, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. I guess it's a way for people to quantify interest, so that they can break down into something tangible what they think their school's chances really are. Yes, it's a terrible question, but I asked it anyway.

So, how about it? Rate the visit.

"I gave it a 9.5. I'd honestly give it a 10, but there is always something that can be improved no matter who you are or what kind of program you have. So, it's not quite perfect, but Nebraska is pretty darn close."

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