Detroit Cass Tech 2013 offensive lineman David Dawson has had several outstanding outings at Midwest Camps this summer. This week he took his talents to a couple SEC Camps and once again performed at a high level despite working on a broken toe.
The 6-5, 305-pound Dawson suffered what he thought was Turf Toe in a game last season and has fought through the pain all off-season. Three weeks ago he found out that what was actually causing him pain was a fracture in his big toe, but the injury has not affected his ability to perform and compete.
"I can still go hard, but with certain stuff I tried to sit back," Dawson said. "It hurts after the fact; it doesn't hurt when I work out."
Earlier this week, Dawson traveled with several other top Detroit prospects in the 2012 and 2013 classes down to Tennessee and Alabama to take part in camps.
"Originally I had talked with Coach [Curtis] Blackwell and he said they were going down there, so I said I would go," Dawson said. "Another reason I went was I wanted to see how fast their tempo was and whether there was any decision between the northern schools and the southern schools. The only different to me, though, was the heat."
Dawson's first stop was at Tennessee for the Volunteer's Camp on Monday where he worked with their offensive line coach.
"I think I did well at Tennessee," Dawson said. "They didn't really say much, just that they liked my hands and they liked my feet."
Dawson received considerably more feedback from Alabama following a Tuesday appearance at the Tide's Camp. His group arrived late, but that did not damper the experience for the Detroit lineman.
"I always wanted to camp at Alabama just because there is a lot of tradition there," Dawson said. "They showed a lot of love down at Alabama.
"When I went through one-on-one's I got to work with Coach Stoutland. It was me and this other offensive tackle from Memphis, and he was just showing us a lot of techniques. He was real into both of us. There was a lot of good d-line competition, but I think I did real well and all the coaches were saying they liked my aggression and how quick and strong my hands were. They said they liked my posture and how I get out of my stance."
Following the Alabama Camp, Dawson had a chance to go up to the coaches' offices where they explained that they would be watching him closely going forward.
"One of the coaches said they wanted to get me back down to LSU or the Arkansas game," Dawson said.
Other Detroit area prospects traveling with Dawson to Tennessee and Alabama this week included Southfield, Mich., safety Leviticus Payne and Detroit Mumford offensive lineman Daron Brown. Class of 2013 prospects Poet Thomas of Detroit Country Day and Jourdan Lewis of Detroit Cass Tech were also on the trip.