April 24th, 2013 06:30pm

Dawson named No. 1 defensive performer at IMG


Duke Dawson feels recruiting analysts are sleeping on him.

He woke some of them up over the weekend.

Dawson is the No. 20-ranked cornerback on Rivals.com and third-best in the state of Florida. (Photo by Rivals)

The Florida cornerback commit from Cross City Dixie County competed in the IMG 7-on-7 Southeast Regional Tournament and was named the No. 1 defensive performer by Rivals.com.

“Because I come from a small town with (Class) 1A football, they think I can’t compete with guys that are going to 7A and 8A schools,” Dawson said. “I want to show people that I can be an All-American and I feel I did what I had to do to prove that.”

The 5-foot-11, 188-pounder had several pass breakups and showed great closing speed when breaking on the ball in coverage. Dawson led his team, Central Florida Top Recruits, to a 4-0 record Saturday and Sunday’s semifinals, although he missed the last two games with a minor knee injury.

“We started out real good and the intensity started picking up, so I caught on fire. That was the best 7-on-7 camp I’ve had,” the Rivals250 member said.

Central Florida Top Recruits is coached by former UF and NFL cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, who is also Dawson’s personal trainer.

“He told me I played like the No. 1 corner in the state,” Dawson said when asked what Ratliff’s thoughts were on his performance.

Dawson has yet to be invited to an All-American game, but he will be in Oregon this summer for The Opening combine and hopes to earn one there. But don’t expect him to ask for an invite.

“I make my statements on the field,” Dawson said. “Why talk about your game when it speaks for itself.”

Here are some highlights from Dawson at IMG Academy:

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  1. April 24th, 2013 6:46 pm

    yea he is underrated… but Muschamp doesn’t go by how many stars are by the persons name.. he has a great eye for talent… and Duke will be a star at UF.. Look at Morrison, he was a 3 star recruit and Muschamp saw the real deal in him and now he has a chance to be an all american and superstar

    by Ryan

  2. April 24th, 2013 8:54 pm

    For me, any time 2 of the big 3 go after a kid, you know they’re good. FSU and UF were the only schools to go after him hard

    by VirginiaGator

  3. April 24th, 2013 10:17 pm

    Duke is a beast, just small school kid… Ryan, your logic is a little off my friend… Morrison was a 4-star recruit, and a couple sites had him near #1 as an OLB recruit…look him up, he was/is a beast…

    by Swampman

  4. April 25th, 2013 12:54 am

    He has potential. Like his effort.

    by J

  5. April 25th, 2013 9:48 am

    He is already ALL-Gator………….that is all that counts.

    by GR8R_G8R

  6. April 25th, 2013 5:20 pm

    This kid will be a shut down corner..

    by True gator

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