Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #91 David Dawson

David Dawson
Name: David Dawson
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 280 lbs.
Position: Offensive guard
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #55
Last year: Dawson was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 71.

Dawson's recruitment was probably the most dramatic of Michigan's class of 2013. For a little while, some Michigan fans were wringing their hands because the Wolverines hadn't offered the Cass Tech lineman with some significant BCS offers. When the offer finally came, Dawson committed in February 2012. Then he spent the summer months entertaining trips elsewhere, which is a no-no to Michigan's staff. A trip to Florida seemed to seal Dawson's departure from the class . . . but then he re-committed to the Wolverines in December. "The Policy" became "The Policy?" and now nobody knows how Brady Hoke and Co. will handle future recruits who want to visit elsewhere.

On the field, Dawson had enough success to be ESPN's top-ranked guard and participate in the Under Armour All-America Game. He played tackle in high school but looks like a college offensive guard. There's not a whole lot of experience at the interior positions, but there is a little bit of depth.  Like most freshman offensive linemen, Dawson is expected to bide his time until at least 2014.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but the "Policy?" seems obvious enough to me. Commit = your spot is safe, we close up shop on recruiting that spot no matter what or who becomes interested in UM later... Commit then visit = not committed, and UM may or may not choose to recruit you further; your decision to commit and then visit other schools will likely play a role in that determination to recruit you further, but it's obviously not prohibitive.

    - ThW

    1. I agree, I don't understand why so many people seem baffled by the policy. The ones who seem to have the door shut completely are those who try to visit in secret without the coaches knowing. Conley last season was up front with the coaches and they told him he could recommit but they were also recruiting other players for that spot. Dawson wasn't quite as upfront and had a bit of a tougher time getting back on board. Remember also that he had a pretty rough year having lost his father and had to have a long discussion with the coaches before they would take him back. That DE/TE in 2012 was one who was cut off completely after trying to sneak a visit to Oregon which the coaches found out about.

    2. The thing is, The Policy was also understood at this time last year. If you visit elsewhere when you're committed, then Michigan will drop you. We knew that for a fact because it happened with Pharaoh Brown.

      But wait a minute - Dawson did virtually the same thing, and he was welcomed back into the class. Was it because Dawson had a tough family life/situation? Nobody really knows.

      We thought we understood it last year. Now we think we understand it again. Maybe we don't.

    3. I don't think the policy is that the commit is completely dropped if he decides to visit elsewhere. It's that he is no longer a commit and the coaches can determine on a case-by-case basis whether to continue pursuing. They dropped Brown completely after Mattison met with him and concluded that he was bad news. Obviously, the coaches did not feel as critical about Dawson's situation. Whether UM's pursuit continues is of course case by case, depending upon the kids attitude, talent, etc.

    4. So basically what you're saying is that there is no Policy. If it is indeed determined on a case-by-case basis - as basically every scholarship is at every school - then there's no Policy, just a policy. And therefore there's nothing to understand, except that coaches will recruit the kids they want and kids will do as they please.

  2. Or maybe the coaches just realize that everyone is different, and there is no policy. Look, if you're taking visits, then you're not committed. It would be dumb for the coaches to assume you're committed in that situation. So they don't assume that. If the visit was done without deceit, and with the coaches being kept in the loop, then they don't have to assume anything, and there's still no policy. If the visit is done deceitfully, then the coaches should (and do) go ahead and assume you're not committed, because... you're clearly not. It's still not a policy; sounds more like common sense.

  3. There's a policy. If a recruit agrees to commit to Michigan, which includes no longer visiting other schools, then his spot is secured. These coaches have to turn away some really good talent when the position fills up (see Alex Anzalone, Dorian O'Daniel, Ethan Pocic, etc.) and they really don't want to see a guy continue flirting with other teams and possibly leave them hanging.

    So what's the exception? Just because a guy breaks that rule and loses his spot doesn't mean that he can't recommit later, assuming it hasn't already been filled. There takes a character flaw of some sort to lose it completely. Up and moving to Florida without speaking with the coaches could send off red flags. In the other case, Pharoah Brown decided that he wanted to play TE instead of DE, so there was space for him at UofM with that spot being filled already.

    Another thing, these Michigan coaches seem to be more committed to their recruits than other schools are. Case in point, compare the way that USC handled an injured Eldridge Massington to the way Michigan handled an injured Chris Fox.

  4. Beating a dying horse (sorry):

    Do we know whether Dawson was up-front with the coaches about his other trips? Assuming he was, I don't necessarily see a problem here. At that point, he no longer had a guaranteed slot. It was first-come, first-serve and he could have been displaced by (say) Cameron Hunt.

    Had he not been open about his other trips, DROP FOR GOOD.

    Could it be that simple? I don't have all the information here.