January 30, 2011

Coveted LB discusses final visit to UT

The long and arduous journey that is college football recruitment is close to an end for Danville, Ky., linebacker Lamar Dawson. The star for two-time defending state champion Boyle County exhausted the last of his five official visits this weekend when he tripped south to see Tennessee.

With his mother, grandmother and brother in tote, Dawson gave a good review of his weekend in Knoxville.

"It was a good visit. I just looked at the campus, went over academics and hung out with the players," Dawson said.

Hosted by defensive linemen Malik Jackson and Corey Miller, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound athlete felt the best part of his trip was getting to know those involved with Vols football.

"The people and just how family-oriented the team is and how the coaches are (stood out). It just seems like a nice place," Dawson said of Tennessee.

Dawson said most of the conversations with head coach Derek Dooley and his staff consisted of things to do other than football.

"Just off the field issues. We talked a lot about the Vol For Life (program)," Dawson said. "Just how like, if you don't graduate they put money away for you so that you can come back and get your degree.

"They didn't really talk about football; they've just told me that I have a great opportunity to come in and play."

Dawson, who visited Oregon, Kentucky, USC and UCF before this weekend in Knoxville, said that all five schools are still in it and he will try and make a decision Monday when he sits down with those closest to him.

"It's still between everybody. (Monday) I'm just going to talk with my family and my coaches and see where I want to go," Dawson said.

The family he will talk to will include his mother and grandmother that accompanied him on the trip. He said they liked Tennessee as well.

"They really liked the program and they thought it was a great place," Dawson said.

Last week, Dawson told Volquest.com that his mother was coming to make sure that Tennessee was a school she could trust with her son. He said he could tell his mother was watching the coaches.

"She was really keying in on them. She felt like they were great people and that it was a good program," Dawson added.

Dawson said his decision will come down to where he feels most comfortable as whole.

"Just see where I want to play and where I want to get my education and see where I want to have fun and enjoy myself while I'm there and see if I'm comfortable with my decision," Dawson said.

And he's ready to get the process over with and have the decision made come Wednesday, when he announces at his high school at 9 a.m.

"A little bit, I'm ready to get it over with," Dawson added. "Talking to these coaches every day and them coming to your house almost every day of the week and then the official visits."

Rivals.com ranks Dawson as the No. 45 overall player in the country and the third-best inside linebacker in the nation.

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