Duke Dawson's been a Gator for a long time, and a Gators freshman for about a month, having enrolled early. And there's a chance he could get lost in the mix when discussing how Florida's secondary will shake out.
That would be a mistake.
Dawson hails from Cross City, where he attended Dixie County High School. Dawson committed to Florida in January 2013, trolling Florida State really hard in the process.
Dawson was a highly recruited player out of high school, receiving offers from Alabama, Florida State, and Tennessee, among others, and Alabama's late run at him — he unofficially visited the Tide in November — is telling.
Dawson isn't the fastest, tallest, or most hyped corner, but he's got excellent ball skills and plays with a tremendous motor. At 5'11" and 195 pounds — yes, that's a consensus weight among recruiting services — Dawson can be physical at contact, and will ultimately contribute down the road at the cornerback or safety spot. He might also be able to provide depth at the nickel back spot immediately, especially if Florida needs to move Brian Poole outside to field or boundary corner.
With the addition of Dawson and Jalen Tabor in 2014, Florida adds depth to an already stellar defensive backfield unit.
Yes, that was a Nickelback joke.