It’s been more than a decade since Alabama’s Nick Saban coached at Michigan State, but he’s maintained a recruiting pipeline to the state of Michigan that he’s been able to utilize since his arrival at UA.
The most notable recruit Saban nabbed from the area was former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Last year, he recruited Cass Tech High School teammates Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson, who both ended up at Michigan.
In 2013, Alabama is again looking at a Cass Tech prospect, David Dawson. The 6-foot-4, 291-pound offensive lineman received an offer over the phone from Crimson Tide assistant coach Bobby Williams on Tuesday.
“It felt great,” Dawson said. “I came down there this past offseason, and I like the coaches I met, Coach (Jeff) Stoutland, Coach Williams and a couple more. It was just great being down there, great facilities, everything about it was great.
“I like all of their coaches. They’re respectful. They made me feel like I was at home when I was down there. They’re known for putting guys into the league. They’re national champions. They’re always winning.”
Dawson is now up to 13 offers. At this point, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, Missouri, Notre Dame and Texas A&M are the schools that stand out. He plans to visit Michigan this weekend and Michigan State the following weekend.
Although he’s originally from the Detroit area, Dawson would love to one day play in the SEC.
“That would be a great experience,” he said. “They’re known for getting people to the next level. If I get the chance to play down there, I would. Right now, my options are open, but I would love to play in the SEC.”
As a junior, Dawson got a taste of the South when he spent a semester down in Houston playing football. He moved back to Detroit for his senior year where he plans to play right tackle for Cass Tech.
At the next level, he projects as more of an offensive guard, but he could also play right tackle.
“People have said that they see me as either a right tackle or an offensive guard,” Dawson said. “I really don’t care what I play. If I can play tackle, I would like to, but it’s not a priority.”
As the offers continue to pour in, Dawson hasn’t even thought about when he’s going to make a decision.
“Right now, I really don’t know,” he said. “I’ll have to talk to my mom and my coaches and at least take a couple visits, but if I know where I really want to be and I like the situation, I’ll just commit. As of right now, I’ll just take my visits and talk to my parents and my coaches.”
Dawson visited Tuscaloosa last July during the offseason, and he’s planning to make a return trip this spring.