Duke Dawson, the defensive back out of Cross City, Florida, verbally committed to the Florida Gators on Tuesday. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound junior chose the Gators over Florida State, which should add insult to injury for the Seminoles.
For the talented defensive back, who is currently on ESPN’s Watch list, the difference was in his relationships with the Florida coaches.
“For one, I have felt the love there since day one and things haven’t changed since,” Dawson said. “I love talking to Coach T-Rob, Coach Muschamp, Coach Young, Coach Dillman and the rest of them.”
The Gators offered Dawson a scholarship after they saw his work at their summer camp, and Dawson appreciated the treatment the Florida coaches gave him from the start.
“They treat me as if I’m already there,” Dawson said. “They check up on me, like asking if I’m healthy, how I did in my game the following day, and how my family is and how school is going. I also see myself fitting in there since day one at camp. Coach Muschamp says he wishes he could have me right now.”
Dawson will not go on any more visits this year, so the next time he is in the news will probably be when he is lighting it up in Gainesville. Dawson recorded 43 tackles, 2 interceptions, and two fumble recoveries this season. He is the 4th member of Florida’s 2014 recruiting class, and will fit the Gator defense like a glove. In all the videos I’ve seen of Dawson, he rotates his hips well in pass coverage, but also explodes to the ball on run plays. The sky will be the limit for Dawson in Gainesville, and apparently coach Muschamp wishes he could put him out in the field this year.