Dawson "A Natural Leader"

Parkersburg South (W. Va.) head football coach Mike DeVol believes that West Virginia is getting a well-rounded student-athlete in Ryan Dawson.

"He's a natural leader," DeVol said of rising senior receiver Ryan Dawson, who recently committed to the Mountaineers. "He was a captain last year as a junior, anhd he has the respect of both the players and the coaches."

Dawson's physical skills have been well-chronicled. At six-feet-four inches, he has the height to go up against shorter defensive backs, and when combined with a 36" vertical leap and a 200-pound frame, it's easy to see why DeVol terms him "the best split end in the state".

Dawson is so talented, in fact, that he might end up playing other positions for South this year, with a switch to quarterback even being a possibility. He also played free safety on defense earlier in his career, and could again see duty on that side of the ball as a senior.

"He's naturally a wide receiver, but he can play a number of other positions. He can throw, run, do it all," DeVol noted.

Those skills were obviously a major attraction for the Mountaineer football staff, which always looks for players that can fit at more than one position. Dawson will start his career as a wideout, but could also be a tight end, spur, or bandit as his career progresses.

However, in spite of all those physical gifts, DeVol believes that his best assests are inside his helmet.

"There's no substitute for intelligence, and Ryan has it. He is an intelligent player on the field, and he knows what he is supposed to do at all times."

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