Duke Dawson recruit scouting report: physical, versatile 2014 cornerback

Duke Dawson - Bud Elliott, SB Nation Recruiting

Cornerback Duke Dawson brings the lumber, and his hard-hitting ability will make him a very attractive recruit to numerous top schools. Dawson is currently committed to the Florida Gators.

Recruit name: Duke Dawson

High school & hometown: Cross City (Fl.) Dixie County High School

Video highlights: Sophomore & junior highlights via Hudl.

Position: Dawson plays cornerback, wide receiver, and sees occasional time at safety. Dawson projects as a cornerback in college.

Height and weight: Dawson currently stands at 5'11, weighing in at 180 pounds.

Ratings: Dawson is currently ranked as the 219th best recruit according to Rivals. Dawson is considered a top 25 cornerback by 247 Sports and is also a member of the ESPN Watchlist.

Offers: Dawson currently holds several offers from Florida (where he has currently verballed), Florida State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst: Dawson is a tough, physical defensive back. His film doesn't show much of him playing cornerback, making it tough to fully evaluate him.

For his size, Dawson has good speed and natural power. He is aggressive in press coverage, but in the few times I have seen him, has also shown the ability to turn and run after the initial press.

Dawson is an aggressive run defender and a big hitter. While he might not have great long speed, his short-area quickness and acceleration stand out. He could do well in a scheme that plays press coverage and blitzes on third downs, trying to force the ball out of the hands of the quarterback. Dawson also plays receiver and has good ball skills.

Because he plays receiver and safety as well, his cornerback skills are a bit raw, and he is probably not an impact freshman, though he could potentially contribute in nickel packages. Dawson is a prime candidate to contribute early on special teams, however, and if he develops, could become a multi-year starter at the major college level.

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