Exit: David Dawson

Submitted by Ace on October 14th, 2012 at 1:41 PM

According to TomVH($)—and confirmed by Sam Webb and Josh Helmholdt($)—Michigan and 2013 Cass Tech OL David Dawson have parted ways. Dawson had wavered in his commitment back in July, when he mentioned at The Opening that he wanted to camp at Florida, and it appears that there's still serious interest in visiting Gainesville and potentially a couple other SEC schools. Given the visit policy of Brady Hoke's staff, if Dawson wanted to follow through on a visit he would no longer be considered a commit; my guess is that's what caused the mutual break.

While the Wolverines still have four blue-chip offensive line commits in Kyle Bosch, Chris Fox, Patrick Kugler, and Logan Tuley-Tillman, it's likely that they'll look to add one more to replace Dawson. While all of the current offerees on offensive line are committed to other schools, it's possible the staff looks to reconnect with IL OL Ethan Pocic, a current LSU commit who had very high interest before the available spots filled up, and IL OL Colin McGovern, a Notre Dame commit. If the staff decides to go after an unoffered prospect, the likely top target is Dawson's high school teammate, MSU commit Dennis Finley, who impressed at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp this summer.

UPDATE: 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Dawson will take an official visit to Florida this weekend ($).

Also, Dawson sent out this tweet just a few minutes ago. I expect Michigan fans to show the same level of class:


Rather be on BA

October 14th, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

Not gunna put on a false show and wish the guy luck at any place other than Michigan, however I can respect his decision and am glad he did it now than later in the process.  Definitely a bummer, but I am confident the staff will bring in another young man that we can be proud of and happy with.

Honestly, the worst part of this may be the negative impact it could possibly have on Greens recruitment.  Couldn't help but notice Auburn listed in Dawson's new top 3.


October 14th, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

and Michigan deal with this issue. Early on it puts value on what it means to "commit" to something.  It actually "tests" the recruits so when they finally enroll and are asked to commit to training or summer workouts or whatever, they understand; and, the coaches know they can depend on them.

It also puts a stop to the madness of recruits visiting everywhere all along even though they have committed verbally, and saves the class from late defections. No other way to do it really. Very glad Hoke sticks to his principles in this regard.

As for Dawson, you can only hope it works out for him, and he is not just caught up in the process. 


October 14th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

I dislike this because obviously he has talent, but in addition, his "commitment" undermined any other recruiting of blue chip OL during the time M was honoring his word. The M policy is a good one for that reason alone. I hope M capitalizes on the opportunity in spite of being hamstrung by the loss of time. Maybe there will be a late bloomer out there.

Magnum P.I.

October 14th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

The most frustrating thing about this is that we led for Pocic and other 4-star OL during the spring, but they went elsewhere because we "filled up." The kids who missed the boat may very well have been "real Michigan Men," but we'll probably never know now. 


October 14th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Is that kids are still subject to a lot of other influences, and are more likely to change their minds than guys who commit only a month or two before signing day. And when they do, we get stuck in a situation like this, where other guys we might have landed and been more solid with have already committed elsewhere, and we're left to scramble for scraps to fill the holes. Just hope Hoke and company can finish strong this year.

I Like Burgers

October 14th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

The policy does nothing to stop kids from decommitting late.  If a kid wants to switch schools, the policy does nothing to stop it.  Say Treadwell takes his visits, commits to Michigan in December, and then after continuing to get calls from Oklahoma coaches after that, decides Feb 1st that he wants to flip to Oklahoma.  The policy does nothing to stop that.  Kids will flip when they feel like flipping.  And until after they sign that LOI, there's nothing you can do to stop them.

All Hoke's policy does is prevent kids from taking visits while committed and then creating a (unneccessary in my opinion) hard break if they, like Dawson, decide they want to look around.


October 14th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

It's supposed to minimize defections because, if you let them go on visits, you never know what will happen. The idea is that the number of kids who will decommit in order to take a visit to a place they don't know if they'll like--which seems like an objectively bad decision unless they really aren't feeling Michigan--is smaller than the number of kids who will decommit if you let everybody take visits. Further, since the visiting process takes time, kids who decommit in order to visit are likely to do so earlier than kids who decommit in the process of taking a bunch of visits.

Personally I think it's an exploitative policy that puts the interests of the program above the interests of individual high school students, but I don't think it's bad at lowering the number of defections, late or otherwise.


October 14th, 2012 at 5:04 PM ^

 above the interests of individual high school students."

Yes, offering a full-ride, almost entirely-free scholarship to one of the great public universities in the world, with virtually round-the-clock academic assistance, essentially catered meals that surpass anything a normal student will get, not to mention the opportunity to play a game in front of thousands of adoring fans in person and millions via television, it's all terribly exploitative of these poor unwitting high school kids who will end up with a degree that will open doors for them for the rest of their lives.

"The team, the team, the team" is really mean, in other words.


October 14th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

I was about to, but then I got lazy and decided against it since it's been discussed a hundred times before on this blog.  No policy is going to be 100% effective at preventing decommits because the reality is that kids change their minds.  The policy doesn't prevent the kids from taking visits at all.  What it does do is prevent them from taking visits after committing.  There's a big difference, especially considering the reports that Hoke actively discourages kids from committing very early in the process.  This ensures that they see all the schools they want to, so they can make fair comparisons between Michigan and other schools, and know for sure that they want to go blue.  It's pretty clear that this would reduce decommitments, but it is not 100% effective, and a de-commitment is going to be hard regardless of whether the kid was allowed to take visits or not while committed.  Also, this way the kid will think twice before deciding to visit, because he has to know for sure that he doesn't want to be blue.  If he's 90 percent sure, but wants to take visits to be 100 percent sure, he'll hopefully realize that chances are high that he won't like the other school more than Michigan so he won't take the risk.


October 14th, 2012 at 7:27 PM ^

the simplest way to think of this is to think of yourself (as a non-athlete) in a similar position. You are looking at various schools to go to for college. If Michigan is your first choice, and you  get an offer from them, then you accept the offer and stop looking. Even if Harvard or MIT come calling then it's no big deal because you wanted to go to Michigan anyway.

So, if Michigan isn't your first choice then you are only using the offer as a placeholder until you get what you really want. If Harvard or MIT comes calling and you're sure you can get into either of those (and either is higher rated in your opinion) then you'll want to go take a look. So, really you've exposed your thought process and desire to be at a specific school.

These kids are all told not to commit until they were sure they were ready. They all had an opportunity to look around. If they commit, then want to look around then Michigan isn't really their first choice. The coaches recognize this and rightly let the kid go to the school they want to go to. The coaches want kids who have Michigan as their first choice.

I have been on admissions committees at a variety of levels. It is clear who really wants to be in your program and although that doesn't count for everything, it helps because those are the kind of people you want.

I'm sure Dawson will be successful and will land on his feet at the program of his choice. He's acting like someone mature based on his tweet and the coaches are treating him as someone mature. Best wishes to him (except if his team ever plays Michigan!)


October 14th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

Enh, this is has happened before and will happen again.  As long as the core of the class stays stable it isn't the sign of anything significant, just proof that young adults change their minds frequently.  Best of luck to Dawson at Florida or whichever school he picks.  


October 14th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Not to be a dick but about 2 weeks ago he tweeted nothing but pro-Florida stuff for a few days straight. I didnt tweet it to him or anyone but just a general tweet saying "We get it. You like Florida". I then said how it didnt seem like attention grabbing.

It's my fan profile so few followers but all immediately replied with "I know, right?" and other agreeing comments. If not for his 6 days a week, constant "Go Blue" tweets I would say I saw this coming and not just a kid wanting love/attention.

Now, I see no way he ends up here. Obviously. Shame as he led so much of the charge in this class. Makes you wonder that if he would jump.....what classifies as solid and how does a kid go from clearly committed (but clearly loving attention) to gone?

Maybe family wants out of the state? I dont know but it feels strange. Conley didnt feel strange. Brown didnt feel strange last year. This feels strange.

Also, IMO, goodbye Green. Would not shock me to see him cancel his visit this weekend. In fact, wouldnt shock me to hear he had been in DD's ear. Kids are kids. Best to him.

I Like Burgers

October 14th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

Green's shown he's clearly interested in the offense of the school's he's looking at, the depth charts there, and the relationships with the coaches.  He's looking at Michigan because of that, not because of a kid he's spent a few days around at a camp and talked to on twitter.  Now, losing that friendly connection and a solid blocker for your future at that school doesn't help, but its certainly not the end of the world.


October 14th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

Again, not exactly my point. Just dont think it helps the already slim chances we had with Green. Aside from talking a lot more than you state, my (admittedly poorly stated) point was one of those Southern schools will get what they want if they want it bad enough. Dawson went from recruiting others to UM to now, IMO, completely gone. Best to him but it's that time of year where certain schools just find a way to get what they want/need. Dawson was our best OL prospect this year, IMO. He is a genuine SEC caliber talent. He always tossed in loving UF comments here and there. 2 weeks ago I jokingly called the switch thinking he was just a kid wanting attention. He either always knew he would back out or something changed his mind fairly quickly. Either way, best to him. Just surprised WHO jumped and stating that prospects like Green and LT tend to "suddenly" fall for a school around this time. Sometimes a school playing very poorly (Auburn and years for Clemson, lol). Just odd.


October 14th, 2012 at 5:15 PM ^

Disappointing but it truly is the recruit's decision. I wish him luck and echo his sentiments of it not being personal.

All that said, this is why I dislike the SEC the most because they are the current hegemon and that is what I want for Michigan to be: the class of not only the Big Ten but of D-1.

I firmly believe we are on that trajectory and the best part is it hopefully is all legitimate.

Edit: do firmly believe we are on the level.


October 14th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

0-for-3, actually. O'Daniel and Levenberry were turned away because there wasn't an open linebacker spot. Willis could still have committed here if he wanted to—there's still room, in fact, as evidenced by the continued recruitment of Leon McQuay III. He hasn't even visited Ann Arbor, however. Dawson's commitment had nothing to do with those guys not being part of the class.

Sione's Flow

October 14th, 2012 at 4:15 PM ^

Well this is a loss for the O-line in the future for sure, but I'm still rooting for Mr. Dawson, just because of his story.  Keep in mind NSD is in February, alot can change.  We may still see him in Maize and Blue.  Plus I admire him for putting the info out to the public and being classy about his decision. 


October 14th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

He did what he had to do. Best of luck to him. There was bound to be a decommit or two.

Is it really worth it to go after another OL? I'm hoping McQuay + Treadwell + Green = joy.


October 14th, 2012 at 7:56 PM ^

What are our chances with Pocic? Did he have legitimate interest in us before we got Dawson in the fold?  And also wasn't he a tackle, not a guard? I would be totally fine closing out this class with McQuay, Treadwell, and Green, and then bringing in 4-5 OL in next year.  It seems like we are in good shape with a lot of 2014 OLine prospects too.