June 6, 2011

Dawson emerges as elite cornerback prospect

Sheldon Dawson arrived in Oxford, Miss., late Saturday morning.

Rivals.com lists the speedster from Memphis (Ridgeway), Tenn., as an athlete, and going into Saturday's elite camp at Ole Miss, that's about all that was known.

"I've got some (schools) recruiting me as a running back, but most are trying to see if I could fit in good as a (defensive back)," Lewis said.

After his performance inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Saturday afternoon, those schools have their answer. Yes, Dawson can play in the secondary. In fact, while shutting down one wide receiver after another in one-on-one drills, it became obvious the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has the skill set to be a lock-down cornerback at the collegiate level.

"To me, it's like a business move," Dawson said. "I'll still play running back or (defensive back), whichever one comes open. If I have to play (defensive back), I'll play (defensive back)."

Dawson has offers from Arkansas, Arkansas State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Illinois, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Memphis, Purdue and Wake Forest. After Saturday's performance, he has become a major priority for the Rebels.

"It's kind of complicated, because there's a lot to think about, but it's OK," Dawson said. "I can sort things out still."

Dawson said he feels "great" about Ole Miss, adding that he "could make an early decision."

Dawson said he planned to camp at Alabama this week and might make another stop or two on the camp circuit, though he wasn't set on those plans.

LEWIS TAKING HIS TIME: Memphis (Ridgeway), Tenn., defensive end Brandon Lewis camped at Ole Miss Saturday, flashing the potential that has landed him offers from the Rebels, Memphis, Tennessee, Arkansas and Arkansas State.

Unlike his teammates at Ridgeway, however, Lewis doesn't appear to be close to a decision.

"I'm looking for a school that's strong in academics and that has a big athletic program," Lewis said. "Ole Miss likes me at end, rushing the passer."

Lewis weighed in Saturday at 217 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame. He said he's hoping to get to 245-250 pounds by the start of his college career. Lewis said he's planning to camp at Arkansas, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt this summer, and Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks appear to hold a slight early lead for his signature.

"I just like everything (about Arkansas)," Lewis said. "Their location is close. They're strong on academics."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!