Vanderbilt is raiding the state of Georgia for college football prospects.
Josh Dawson, a 6-foot-4, 226-pounder from Tucker High School, picked Vanderbilt among his 23 football scholarship offers, which also included Notre Dame, Boston College, South Florida, and UGA. He will play defensive end or outside linebacker in college.
Vanderbilt has seven commitments for its 2012 recruiting class, including six from Georgia.
“I felt like Vanderbilt wanted me more than any other school that offered me or recruited me,” Dawson told the AJC. “It felt like a family there. All the coaches and players have the same mindset. They want to win SEC championships and the whole BCS championship. That put Vandy over the top with me.”
Who is generating all the excitement among Georgia recruits and generating the high expectations for Vanderbilt? It’s none other than James Franklin, the first-year coach at Vanderbilt.
“Coach Franklin is passionate about winning and the game of football,” Dawson said. “He knows the game and he is serious about it. He’s preaching the things that parents need to hear and the players need to hear.
“People are realizing that Vanderbilt is on the rise. Vanderbilt is serious about competing for SEC championships, so recruits are getting on board.”
Dawson on UGA: “Georgia is a good school. I just felt like Vanderbilt was on me more than Georgia was. I felt like Vandy was a better fit for me.” Dawson said Georgia Tech was recruiting him hard early in the recruiting process but hadn’t had much contact recently.
The Georgia-to-Vanderbilt pipeline also includes one of Dawson’s teammates at Tucker High School, linebacker Jacob Sealand, who turned down schools such as Miami, Virginia Tech, South Carolina and Arkansas to commit to the Commodores.
“Yes, the other Georgia players committed to Vanderbilt were working on me to come there, too, but I’m not going to say that’s why I committed to Vanderbilt,” Dawson said.
Dawson, who has a 3.5 GPA, will study engineering in college.
Vanderbilt’s other Georgia commitments (click on player’s name for more info on each):
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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