Josh Dawson said it’s “50/50” on whether he will sign with UGA or Vanderbilt on National Signing Day (Feb. 1).
The 6-foot-5, 229-pound defensive end from Tucker High School has been committed to Vanderbilt since last summer. UGA has made a strong push within the last couple of months, with Dawson making a recruiting trip with the Bulldogs on Jan. 13. Dawson went to Vanderbilt this past weekend, along with his high school teammate and fellow Vanderbilt commit Jacob Sealand.
“I’m still committed to Vanderbilt but … it’s just a tight race between Vanderbilt and Georgia right now,” Dawson told the AJC on Sunday night. “I’d say they are both on top. I’m just going to have to weigh my options out. I’m going to make my final decision on where I’m going to sign on Feb.1.”
After visiting both UGA and Vanderbilt over the last two weeks, how would Dawson compare the two? “You couldn’t really compare them because when I went to Georgia, I had only a few other recruits there. I had more individual time with the coaches. The Georgia visit was more informative for me. At Vanderbilt this weekend, they had all of the commits there so you didn’t have that individual time with the coaches. We did a lot of group activities. I’d said both official visits went well. I am waiting to decide on Feb. 1.”
Dawson said Vanderbilt coach James Franklin never brought up his visit to UGA. “He didn’t address it because I guess he didn’t feel like he needed to worry about it. Coach Franklin just kept reminding me that Vanderbilt has been with me from the beginning and that I could be a big part in turning around the program.”
What’s next for Dawson? He won’t be visiting South Carolina, instead focusing on Vanderbilt and Georgia. Vanderbilt is scheduled to attend his basketball game or make an in-home visit on Tuesday.
On Thursday, UGA will have Mark Richt make an in-home visit in an attempt the seal the deal with the Bulldogs. “It might be moved up to Wednesday because of my high school banquet on Thursday. I don’t know yet.” Dawson also said it didn’t bother him that UGA waited until later in the recruiting process to turn up its intensity, or that the Bulldogs had commitments or were recruiting players at his same position. “I like Georgia because it’s close to home, and my friends and family can come to every home game.”
Dawson said he’s being recruited to play OLB in Georgia’s 3-4 defense, and at DE for Vanderbilt’s 4-3 formation. “It’s basically the same position in different schemes.”
Is Dawson feeling pressure about his decision? “I wouldn’t say I’m stressing. I’m just making sure I research everything. I’m going to pray about it with my family. My parents are very supportive. They told me wherever I go, they are going to make every game. This decision is really up to me.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT OVER THE WEEKEND
AND EVEN MORE RECRUITING NEWS …
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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