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Posted on Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Report: Football commit David Dawson won't attend Florida camp after speaking with Michigan coaches

By Kyle Meinke

Michigan football commit David Dawson turned some heads Friday when his plans to camp at Florida were revealed.

A day later, the trip is no more.

After speaking to Michigan coaches, the Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman -- ranked by ESPN as the country's top guard -- no longer will attend the Gators' Friday Night Lights camp, according to's Sam Webb.

Dawson tweeted Friday he planned to attend the camp so he could compete against some of the country's top players, and not because he planned to decommit.

"I'm a #MichiganMan," he said. "So what u hear or read is irrelevant!! #GoBlue #TEAM134"

Yet, the visit would have given Florida coaches -- who offered Dawson a month after his pledge to Michigan, and later visited his high school -- a chance to woo the talented lineman on their own campus.

Michigan has instituted a strict no-visit policy for commits under coach Brady Hoke, a rule that many teams have but few enforce. The Wolverines already have shown their policy has teeth, though, after they dropped tight end Pharaoh Brown from the 2012 class for visiting Oregon.

It wasn't clear whether Dawson was in violation of this rule, considering his trip to Gainesville would have been for a camp, and not an official visit. Classmate Jourdan Lewis, also from Cass Tech, camped at Alabama earlier this summer and remains committed to Michigan.

Still, Michigan coaches couldn't have liked the prospects of their prized offensive lineman visiting one of the nation's most powerful recruiters -- on its own campus. Now, the Gators will have to make their pitch from afar.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding, and Dawson and his 2013 classmates will be fair game until they file letters of intent next year. National signing day is Feb. 6.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

February is a long time. This is not done yet.


Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

On one hand, this is a policy that teaches student athletes that they should make rash decisions. If you don't allow recruits to explore their options, how can they make an informed decision? You could argue that these kids shouldn't commit to a school until they are entirely sure, but Coach Hoke and staff pressure them into committing as early as possible, simply because they know if they don't commit, somebody else will take that slot. On the other hand, Brady Hoke is teaching the importance of loyalty and honesty. When Brady Hoke and staff extend a scholarship offer, they are making a commitment to that player as well. I don't think it's too much to ask for full reciprocity. If another player comes along that might be better, Coach Hoke wont simply drop you for another player. It should go both ways. One thing's for sure... it's definitely not black and white.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

+2 Robert


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

What Robert said.

Robert Granville

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

You are completely off base. This policy encourages recruits to make all of their visits before pledging a commitment. That is specifically why there are players like Laquon Treadwell who refuse to commit despite having one clear leader and feeling pressure from the media constantly questioning if and when he will commit. If a player wants to explore his options, Hoke is not interested in a commitment. He only wants players who want to play at Michigan. There is absolutely no evidence that he pressures recruits into commitments. In fact, each recruit that has been interviewed mentions that they were not sold or pressured but felt drawn to the family atmosphere created by the entire program.

Terry Star21

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

That first paragraph might very well be the worst comment I've ever seen. I mean - seriously ?


Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

"Verbal commitments are nonbinding,..." Isn't a "nonbinding commitment" an oxymoron? If it is nonbinding, why is the term "commitment" used? Shouldn't the term be something less definitive?


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

Yes: it's oxymoronic to use "commitment" and "non-binding" in the same sentence or reference. But most likely, this is more a matter of "journalist speak" than it is a moral / ethical concern. Remember, in journalist jargon, one can actually write sentences like: "Police found more than 100 bullets in Mr. X's car." - AND have the public accept it due to ignorance of basic ordinance AND ignorance of "implicating statements" intended to cover the prejudice of journalists, editors and publishers. (i.e. bullets are inert, ballistically shaped objects meant to be propelled by propellant in the CARTRIDGE, of which bullets are only a part.) Informational point: Having "100 bullets" in your closet it roughly equivalent to having 100 pebbles in your closet.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:33 a.m.

@DBH -- I think I understand the view you're taking ... and in many ways I share that view. I certainly *wished* in today's word one's personal commitment was "binding." There was a time when a man's word was his honor; his handshake his contract. But I don't think that's the case any more. Absolutely no judgment of Dawson here -- I don't know the young man and I can't discern his heart or his motives. Based on what we know it would seem Mr. Dawson understands the nature of his commitment and is honoring it. Very, very good for him. My point above is simply that in today's age, where one's "commitment" seems always conditional, the term "binding" or "non-binding" is necessary to qualify the state of the commitment. Sad, but true.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:22 a.m.

Thanks, @DonAZ, for the attempt at explication, I appreciate it. I still don't entirely understand it, but I do appreciate it.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

"Isn't a "nonbinding commitment" an oxymoron?" The "commitment" portion of that is personal, and the extent to which it is binding is up to the individual. Whether a commitment is "binding" is based on societal and legal constructs that hold individual to their commitment. Right now their "commitment" is a personal pledge, and it is up to the individual to determine whether they will honor it. Come singing day the "binding" element comes into play. So no, "non-binding commitment" is not necessarily an oxymoron ... not in this day and age. But, thankfully, we have Coach Hoke ... and one of the cornerstone lessons he strives to teach his players is the value of the personal commitment. For those forged in such a dedication to personal honor, integrity and responsibility, then "personal commitment" is in essence "binding." I'm not trying to be a you-know-what here ( "standards" are hard to gauge, hence the guarded language) ... I'm very serious: there are two very distinct pieces to that -- "commitment" and "binding." In the past the two were much closer together; nowadays not so much so. Hence the need to reinforce that reality of this by using phrases like "nonbinding commitment."


Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 10 p.m.

A similar event happened last year when Terry Richardson was talking about visiting somewhere after committing to Michigan. The coaches put a kabash on it. Terry is still a MIchigan Man. But, Dawson did the right thing. He's only 17 and I can believe it's very tempting and exciting to go on these types of trips to places like Florida. The U-M coaches are trying to set the expectations with these players from the get-go that you need to be disciplined and a person of your word.

Terry Star21

Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

Great to hear...the great commits do not under any circumstance want to damage their reputation by saying as many good things about Michigan (I'm a Michigan Man, etc) as he had, then de-commit. This is very unselfish of him, knowing at that age that he really wanted to attend that camp and see other talented players, much like himself. Congrats, and again David - welcome to Michigan ! MgoBlueForTiM....a true Michigan Man !


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 7:52 a.m.

What about me ? Ive been gone for a while. I'm probably the most read guy on this site. Everyone looks to my opinions as being the most important and revered.

Terry Star21

Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 1:29 a.m.

Oh yes Kyle, just wasn't the same.....

Kyle Meinke

Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Thanks Terry. Miss me much?

Terry Star21

Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

ps....welcome back Kyle..