January 30, 2012

Dawson mulling it over

Being pulled in two different directions is never fun.

Tucker outside linebacker/defensive end Josh Dawson can definitely attest to that.

Over the last few months, the star pass rusher has been torn between his home state school, Georgia, and the school he committed to back in June, Vanderbilt.

Last week was the final week that coaches could visit players before the dead period began Sunday at midnight, and the four-star recruit heard from both programs this week.

"Vanderbilt was here earlier in the week, and that visit went good," said Dawson. "We visited there last weekend, and had a great time. Then Georgia came in yesterday with Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Rodney) Garner. Coach (Mark) Richt was supposed to come but he had a family emergency that kept him from making it."

The visit from Grantham gave Dawson's mother her first opportunity to meet the Georgia defensive coordinator, and the family came away impressed.

"He just has answers to all of our questions," said Dawson. "He answered every question that she had and every question my dad had. I think she really liked him."

Although being able to answer the tough questions is big for the Dawson family, they were also impressed with much more out of Grantham.

"Coach Grantham is a good guy," said Dawson. "He is serious about his work and you always want somebody that is as serious about their work as you are."

The Bulldogs have made a strong push in the last few months and have worked hard to pull even with the Commodores.

Vanderbilt, however, has refused to give up and they continue to sell Dawson on the finer points of their program.

"Vanderbilt is a rising program," he said. "They have a great recruiting class coming in and a great coaching staff up there. It is in a great city, and, education wise, they have top notch academics."

According to Dawson, Georgia has plenty to offer as well.

"Georgia is home for me," said Dawson. "They are a top SEC school and one of the most winning schools in the SEC. They always have great defensive players come through and always have great defenses. It is a great school."

With signing day less than 72 hours away, the stress is beginning to mount for most recruits.

Dawson, however, is a bit of an exception to that rule.

"I wouldn't say stress really," said Dawson. "There is some pressure with signing day coming up, but I'm just taking it a day at the time, weighing my options, and trying to make the best decision for me. I know I can't go wrong with either school, so I'm not worried about it. I just want to make the best decision."

One of the big reasons for the peace and calm that Dawson has experienced thus far is the support of his family and coaching staff at Tucker.

Both have played a valuable role in Peach State prospects recruitment, and he isn't at all hesitant to acknowledge their contributions.

"My parents have been there every step of the way, and making sure that I do the right thing throughout this process," said Dawson. "They make sure I carry myself the right way. I am really thankful to have parents like that. My coaches have given me so much support. They have always been there for me. They always tell me the right things even when it may not be what I want to hear at the moment, but it's always the right thing. They showed me the right way to go, and I'm really thankful for a good coaching staff that is always behind me."

Dawson will decide on February 1, National Signing Day, at 10 a.m., and whether it is Vanderbilt or Georgia, he knows what kind of player his new school will get.

"They are getting a hard worker that is relentless on defense," said Dawson. "I'll give it my all every time I am out there and make the most of my opportunity every time I'm on the field."

Dawson, at this point, is still undecided with both teams standing neck and neck for his signature, but soon after the clock strikes 10 a.m on Wednesday, fans in Athens or Nashville will have something to celebrate.

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