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Posted on Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Highly-touted Michigan football commit David Dawson playing for his late father

By Nick Baumgardner

David Dawson will take part in one of the more prestigious football camps in America this week.

And he'll do so with a heavy heart.

Dawson, the top-rated offensive guard in America and a 2013 Michigan football pledge, spoke to recently about continuing on with his football career despite the recent death of his father, David Dawson Sr.

"I will just be thinking about the last time he told me he was really proud of me," Dawson told ESPN. "That's what really fires me up."

Dawson's father, an employee of the Michigan Department of Transportation, was killed on April 11 after being struck by a vehicle on I-96 while providing assistance to a motorist.

Just days later, Dawson competed in the Columbus (Ohio) Nike Football Training Camp -- and subsequently dominated, earning offensive line most valuable player honors.

Dawson buried his father just a few days before he was scheduled to participate in the NFTC. Rated the No. 1 offensive guard in the country and the No. 89 recruit in the ESPN 150, Dawson was expected to be one of the headliners at the event.

Nobody would have blamed the Cass Tech (Detroit) junior and Michigan commit for skipping the camp. But Dawson went anyway, the pain from the funeral still fresh in his mind.

"It played a big role in Columbus," Dawson said. "That was all I was thinking about. I knew I had to get that Opening invite."

After that performance, Dawson was invited to the ESPN-organized elite camp "The Opening," which runs from July 5-8 in Beaverton, Ore. The event will be televised on ESPNU at 8 p.m., July 6-8.

Dawson is one of seven 2013 Michigan commitments participating in the event, joining four-star quarterback Shane Morris, four-star cornerback Jourdan Lewis, four-star defensive lineman Taco Charlton, four-star guard Kyle Bosch and four-star tight end Jake Butt.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


Daniel Schuetz

Tue, Jul 3, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

What a tragedy. Godspeed to the Dawsons.

Nathan Gibson

Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

As a Bama fan I am following Michigan a little until our game. This story breaks my heart. My prayers go out to this young man and I hope he continues to be a man his father will always be proud of. Roll Tide forever but for this guy Go Big Blue!


Tue, Jul 3, 2012 : 10:54 a.m.

Nathan- Welcome to Go Blue country. I have always thought Alabama was a class program, and you have reinforced that. Looking forward to September.


Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Many challenges ahead in the life of a young person. Moving forward is a positive during the grieving process.


Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Condolences to the Dawson family. It is a real tragedy for them! Stupid motorist.