Early NC Top 10: No. 10 LB Nick Dawson

Pack Pride breaks down ten players that could challenge as one of the state's best for the class of 2012.

The official rankings for the North Carolina class of 2012 won't be released for a couple of months but it's never too early to take a look at some of the best players in the state. Over the next two weeks, Pack Pride will break down 10 players that will challenge for a spot among the state's top players. Today we profile linebacker Nick Dawson.

LB Nick Dawson...6-2, 215 pounds...Phillip O Berry Academy, Charlotte, NC

The Skinny....Dawson has a good frame with the speed and quickness that has helped establish his position as one of the most highly recruited linebackers in the state. He is teammates with Germone Hopper and both will be a couple of the more highly recruited players in the state. Dawson appears to have quite a bit of upside and he'll likely add several more offers before all is said and done.

As a junior, Dawson had 113 tackles, five sacks, six forced fumbles, and an interception. He also lined up occasionally at fullback.

Scholarship offers...NC State, UNC, Kentucky, Louisville, Clemson, Maryland, Tennessee, Auburn, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Miami

Where does the Pack stand?....NC State was in Dawson's early top three but that list evaporated as more teams began to offer. He has visited for some Wolfpack games in the past but it is not known if he has actually visited recently. With OL coach Jim Bridge heading up his recruiting for NC State, the Wolfpack should have a fighting chance. Clearly, getting Dawson on campus during spring practice would be ideal followed up by a couple of visits from the NC State coaching staff in May. State has a chance here but the waters have been muddied by all of the additional offers. He and teammate Germone Hopper would like to play together in college but we're not sure if that's a deal breaker. Clemson did impress Dawson during a recent junior day visit.

Early thoughts...We don't think Dawson is anywhere near making a decision so it's impossible to narrow down the main players. Most likely his recruiting will play out for quite a while and it could be much later in the year before his top schools become clear.

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