On The Right Foot

One of the biggest players on the Temple University football team was brought down by one of the smallest parts of his body last year. Six-foot-five, 325-pound freshman offensive lineman Dion Dawkins broke the fifth metatarsal – the pinky bone – in his foot in the fifth game against Louisville last year, ending his season.

One of the biggest players on the Temple University football team was brought down by one of the smallest parts of his body last year.

Six-foot-five, 325-pound freshman offensive lineman Dion Dawkins broke the fifth metatarsal – the pinky bone – in his foot in the fifth game against Louisville last year, ending his season.

"You can't put pressure on it at all," said Dawkins of the injury. "At first I was very emotional about it, but I prayed about it and everything happens for a reason. That year was supposed to be a taste year so hopefully it all comes along."

Dawkins started at left tackle at Idaho and right tackle against Louisville. He was one of only four players in the FBS to make a start at left tackle last season.

Dawkins is again competing to earn a spot on the offensive line this spring and he feels he is coming along nicely off the injury. He is hoping to be Temple's right tackle this season.

"I feel great, my conditioning is not there yet," said Dawkins. "But as a player I feel I am growing and I can be a big leader to the football team. At tackle, there's less to worry about (than an inside position). It's one-on-one and that's what I like."

In a recent practice, Dawkins was able to catch defensive lineman Praise Martin-Oguike off balance and drive him all the way across the field.

"When I was younger, I watched the ‘Blind Side' and there was a scene (very similar to what happened) and I always said I have to do exactly what he did," said Dawkins. "Praise didn't put his weight down and I drove him straight to the bleachers."

Dawkins, who came to Temple from Hargrave Military Academy and Rahway (N.J.) High School, originally planned to play for the Owls' American Athletic Conference rival Cincinnati but changed his mind.

"Temple was more about family, and Cincinnati and some other schools were more about business," said Dawkins. "We're business too, but the coaches here care about you, they'll stay after to help you."

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