Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #89 Reon Dawson

Reon Dawson (image via Scout)
Name: Reon Dawson
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 178 lbs.
High school: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #20
Last year: I ranked Dawson #88 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Dawson entered the 2013 season as a scrawny project at cornerback. Michigan had a solid group of cornerbacks, including a couple fellow freshmen who were rated higher as prospects. While starters Raymon Taylor and Blake Countess held their positions, freshmen Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling each saw significant playing time, and veterans Courtney Avery and Delonte Hollowell saw occasional cornerback duties, too. There was no real need for more contributors at the position.

The situation remains essentially the same going into 2014. Avery graduated, but the other five players mentioned above return. Meanwhile, vaunted freshman Jabrill Peppers hits campus this summer. Taylor and Hollowell will both graduate after 2014, and Countess could potentially leave after his redshirt junior year, so Dawson might have a chance at earning time in 2015. He could also move to safety at some point, but at 178 lbs., that possibility is remote for now.

Prediction: Backup cornerback who plays very little, if at all


  1. Wow, that's low for a redshirt freshman corner on scholarship. I expect these 81-90 spots to be made up of mostly freshmen that are likely to redshirt and linemen who seem unlikely to crack the 2-deep. Dawson must have some pretty negative practice buzz to end up down here. Also, I guess we're pretty stacked with talented CBs this year.

    1. Some spring practice observers went out of their way to mention that Dawson was really struggling. And these are the kind of guys who blow sunshine about everyone, so that is pretty telling. He enrolled as one of six DB's in his class and was apparently the sixth best prior to Douglas moving to RB. With all of the good DB's that UM has recruited over the last couple years, it is not a good time to be a "project" at the position. I suspect that is why Thunder is rating him this low.

    2. Even linemen who aren't on the two-deep can find themselves on the extra point team or can find themselves thrust in there against the likes of a MAC team. I think Dawson is at least a year away from playing unless something drastic happens. Even if the game is out of hand and Michigan puts in the backups, guys like Stribling, Hollowell, etc. need playing time.

  2. How likely is it that countess leaves?? I didn't think he had that great of a year last year.. It was good, yes, but not NFL good.

    1. If he can take an incremental step forward, I think there's a good chance that he'll leave. Something like 98 underclassmen entered the draft this year. Countess was All-Big Ten and had 6 picks. I'm not sure how much better he could be without leaving early. I mean, honestly, if he had done a solid job against Tyler Lockett in the BWW Bowl (even if Lockett got some catches against other DB's but not much against Countess), we wouldn't be talking about this as a "stretch" at this point. We would be thanking our lucky stars that he decided to return for 2014. I don't think it's very often that you can expect a cornerback at a big school to get 6 picks and still come back to college the next year. I don't have any statistical evidence to back that up, but that's my guess.

    2. Countess had a pretty good season considering he was a year off of ACL surgery. Assuming that he is fully back in his groove in '14, I see him as a guy who can play in the NFL. And if he does aspire for the NFL, a fifth year will not do much for him other than subject him to more potential injury. Expecting Countess and Funchess to declare for the NFL after this season.

  3. Dawson was always viewed as a boom/bust prospect. I'm still hopeful that he can add weight and move to safety, as it doesn't seem like playing time at CB is going to be very available.

    Low but fair ranking for a scholarship player entering his second year.