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Purdue Football Recruiting: Sawyer Dawson says Yes to the Boilermakers

Purdue lands 3* OLB from the Sunshine State, the world becomes a little brighter.

Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Purdue took a break from running back commitments to take the commitment of Sawyer Dawson, a 6'2, 200 pound outside linebacker from Plant City, Florida. Dawson racked up 87 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 3 interceptions (according to Maxpreps) last season, and added in a few blocked kicks (according to his highlight film). Dawson also had 1 catch for 41 yards, you know, just because that's how he rolls.





Ranking: Scout/Rivals/247

Sawyer Dawson





Dawson is a solid prospect from the Sunshine State who decided that Indiana was superior to New York (sorry Syracuse). Syracuse was thought to be the front-runner for Dawson's services, but once Hazell and company got Dawson on campus for camp, they sealed the deal. Dawson is Purdue's second defensive recruit of the 2015 class, and Purdue's first commitment from Florida in this class. Purdue now has commitments from players hailing rom: Indiana, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Georgia, Ohio, and Maryland.


Pass Coverage / Hands: Dawson shows excellent instincts in pass coverage, both in zone and man coverage. In zone coverage, Dawson drops into his zone, reads the quarterback, and breaks on the ball, and actually makes the interception. In man coverage, Dawson does a solid job of staying with the receiver, keeping his eyes on the ball, and making the play. Close your eyes and imagine a Purdue linebacker making a solid play in coverage, and not having the ball float over their heads into the waiting arms of a receiver. That's what Dawson brings to the table, and it's something Purdue has been missing for a few years. Purdue needs playmakers on defense, and it appears that Dawson actually makes plays.

Attacking: Dawson attacks runners, and actually drives the opponent backwards. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, "drag down tacklers". Too often last season, Purdue linebackers grabbed a leg and held on until the opponent became tired from carrying extra weight down the field. Dawson attacks the runner, gets into their legs, and gets them on the ground sooner, rather than later. He has good speed and good instincts, and once he decides to go, he goes, and more often than not, ends the opponents movement down the field, often times in a violent manner.

Special Teams: The fastest way for a player to get onto the field in college is on special teams, and I was impressed that Dawson had several blocked kicks on his highlight reel. He has excellent timing and is adept at avoiding blockers and making a play on the ball. Hopefully, this skill translates to the college level and he can make some game changing plays for Purdue on special teams. When was the last time Purdue blocked a kick? It would be nice if the Boilermakers could find a way to score some cheap points, and Dawson has the ability to do just that.


Weight: Dawson is a little skinny for a Big 10 linebacker. At 6'2 I would expect him to be at least 220 before he hits the field for the Boilermakers. The nice thing about Dawson is that he actually has the frame to become a Big 10 sized linebacker. If Dawson can maintain his speed while adding about 30 pounds of muscle, he will be a steal for the Boilers.

Where are the other Florida teams?: This isn't a condemnation of Dawson's skills, just an honest question. Dawson has an offer from F.A.U. and F.I.U., but teams like South Florida and Central Florida have yet to offer Dawson. I consider USF and UCF to be the mid rung of Florida college football, and find it interesting that they haven't offered Dawson yet. Sawyer appears to be more popular in the Midwest than he is in the Southeast. You have to wonder what happens if another, higher profile Florida school gets involved. Hopefully Hazell has the hook set firmly set.


Purdue needs athletes and playmakers on defense. Dawson appears to be both an athlete and a playmaker. It's always nice when you can go down to Florida and pull out a solid 3* prospect. This says something about Hazell's ability to recruit. Adding more kids like Dawson will put the 2015 class firmly in the middle of the Big 10 recruiting rankings. Welcome to Purdue Mr. Dawson, hit the weight room and the buffet and be ready to play from day 1. I'm sure Hazell is selling playing time, and if you come in Big 10 sized, you have the skills to compete right away.

Junior Highlights:


I will be coming out with a Wyatt Cook profile tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to read the article from Testudo Times on Cook. Please pay special attention to the comment section where Terp fans are acting like a jilted high school boy who just got turned down to the prom by the chick that sits behind him in English 3rd period. "Psssh, she thinks she's soooo hot, well, I mean, I didn't even really want her to go with me anyway. I've got much better options than her. In fact, it's better that she didn't want to go with me. I was doing her a favor by asking her ugly behind to the dance." It's Ok Terp fans, we all know you are going to go home and cry in your pillow and wonder why you didn't get Cook even though you have the most super cool uniforms in the world. We all know you guys are putting on a brave face for the new conference.