Lamar Dawson talks Tennessee

Lamar Dawson, Kentucky's Mr. Football 2010, was in Knoxville during the weekend for the last of his five official visits. Accompanying Dawson on the visit from Danville, Ky., included were his mother, grandmother, and younger brother.

"It went good," Lamar Dawson said of the trip. "We got a tour of the campus and the facilities, learned about the academic programs, and talked a lot with the coaches. My family thought it was a great visit to UT. So did I."

Dawson also got to spend time with current Volunteers, which he said was the highlight of the trip for him.

"The first night Corey (Miller) was my player-host, the next night it was D-Sapp (Dontavious Sapp)," said Dawson. "We hung out with Malik (Jackson), and I got to meet the quarterback (Matt) Simms. I like their players a lot and being comfortable in a place is a big factor for me. I want to be able to have some fun in the next four years too."

Dawson, 6-4, 240, lead Boyle County High School to back-to-back 4A state champions. He was named a U.S. Army All-American and started for the West at linebacker in January's All-Star game. He had a chance this weekend to speak to Tennessee linebacker coach, Lance Thompson, about his future as a potential Vol."

"We had a good talk, but it wasn't really about football," said Dawson. "He talked about how they wanted to see me develop as a person and become a man. I aslo talked with Coach Dooley, and that went well. The coaching staff is one of the top things I really like about UT."

Many except Dawson to sign with nearby Kentucky or Tennessee on February 2nd. However, he's also taken official visits to L.A. (USC), Orlando (UCF), and Eugene (Oregon). Michigan, Florida, and Louisville have also been mentioned as potential candidates.

"Everybody is still in it," said Dawson. "I just need to decide where the best place for me to go to get a degree and play football. It will be the place I feel most comfortable with, but location isn't going to be a factor. Early playing time and my relationship with the coaches are definitely things I'm going to be looking at as well."

After an outstanding senior season, Dawson was named Kentucky's Gatorade Player of the Year with 158 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass breakups, and three forced fumbles at middle linebacker. He added 926 all-purpose yards on offense with 16 touchdowns. Now he's taking a break.

"I've just been relaxing," said Dawson of his post-season. "After signing day, I'm going to get on the weight program of whatever school I sign with and start lifting. In the classroom, I've been doing great. Right now I have a 3.7."

The Volunteers will benefit from being the last school Dawson visits prior to signing day. They hope they made a lasting impression.

Overall I'd probably give the visit a 9," Dawson said. "I loved the facilities, the coaches, and the players. The campus was great too."

Dawson wore No. 5 for the Boyle County Rebels. He plans on accouncing his decision at his high school on signing day.

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