Florida State Seminoles: Duke Dawson

Early Offer: Big week for top five 

November, 11, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: With the newest edition of the BCS rankings released, we take a look at the biggest headlines of the top five teams from the recruiting trail.


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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Some of the top prospects at the skill positions took to the fields at the IMG Academy over the weekend to participate in the 7-on-7 Southeast Regional. Here are 10 players who really stood out based upon their performances alone.

10. Kyle Gibson
Seffner (Fla.) Armwood | ATH | 6-foot, 180 pounds

The safety wasn't flashy over the course of the two-day event, but Gibson consistently seemed to be in good position to knock down pass attempts. The four-star prospect continually took the right angles on deep balls and came up aggressively on underneath routes. On day one, Gibson helped Team Tampa beat the South Florida Express Elite, which consisted of big-time wide receivers Ermon Lane and Florida State commit JoJo Robinson. Vanderbilt and Louisville are two schools standing out for Gibson. He has no timeframe on making a decision.


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The IMG 7v7 Southeast Regional Championship in Bradenton, Fla., on Saturday and Sunday will feature several ESPN 150 players. This star-studded event will feature the South Florida Express, one of the top 7-on-7 teams in the country, and Team Tampa, which won the IMG 7v7 National Championships last year. Here's a look at five things to watch at this weekends events.

1. Wide receiver position is loaded
Ermon Lane
Derek Tyson/ESPNHomestead, Fla., wide receiver Ermon Lane will be one of several top prospects participating in the IMG 7v7 Southeast Regional Championship.
There will be a plethora of top wide receivers in Bradenton this weekend. Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead), the No. 1-ranked wide receiver in the country, will have a chance to showcase his abilities against some elite talent. Additionally, Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), Moral Stephens (Perry, Fla./Taylor County), Kenric Young (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville), Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), Garrett Johnson (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) and 2015 wideout Da'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) are scheduled to participate.


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Lessons Learned: Orlando NFTC 

March, 18, 2013
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videoORLANDO, Fla. -- The 2013 Nike Football Training Camp tour continued in Orlando on Saturday as several top players from the Central Florida area showcased their skills at West Orange High School. There were individual standouts at every position as well as several players who put themselves on the map with impressive performances.


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Here are five storylines to watch on Saturday.


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'14 DB Dawson commits to Gators

January, 8, 2013
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CROSS CITY, Fla. -- ESPN Watch List defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County) has verbally committed to Florida. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound junior chose the Gators over in-state rival Florida State.

[+] EnlargeDuke Dawson
Derek Tyson/ESPNWatch List DB Duke Dawson committed to UF's 2014 class, citing a great relationship with coaches.
Dawson announced his decision at a ceremony held at his high school Tuesday afternoon.

The talented 2014 safety said his relationship with the Florida program is what ultimately persuaded him to choose the Gators.

"For one, I have felt the love there since day one and things haven't changed since," Dawson said. "I love talking to Coach T-Rob (Travaris Robinson), Coach [Will] Muschamp, Coach [Bryant] Young, Coach [Jeff] Dillman and the rest of them."

Dawson's comfort level with Florida started after receiving his first official scholarship offer at Florida's camp during the summer.

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Five safeties for 2014 

December, 7, 2012
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NoleNation takes a look at five candidates for the safety position among the Class of 2014:

Quin Blanding
Scott FinkQuin Blanding appears to be one of the top safety prospects in the class of 2014.
Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside): The last time Florida State went to Bayside High School, they came away with their current starting quarterback, EJ Manuel. Blanding has a positive outlook on Florida State, and a lot of that has to do with Manuel's presence there. He was far too young to have been teammates with him, but Manuel's success is widely known locally. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound safety already has offers from Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. And he's also on ESPN's Watch List for the Class of 2014.

Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb): In the shadows of Neyland Stadium, one of the top defensive back prospects in the country makes his home feasting off of opposing offenses. With offers including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, Kelly is an easy choice for ESPN's Watch List. He's got good size at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds and moves well. It would be a difficult pull to get Kelly out from the heart of SEC country, but the Seminoles did themselves a favor by at least offering early.

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Recruiting rivalries: UF, FSU in 2014 

December, 4, 2012
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With just a few short months left until national signing day, Florida and Florida State, as always, have two of the best recruiting classes in the country. 2014 will be no different. Here's a look at some of the top prospects Florida and Florida State will battle for next year.

DE Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing): The ESPN Watch List defensive end visited Florida over the summer and came away impressed with the Gators. Williams also visited FSU for its game against the Gators. Other schools will be heavily involved in Williams' recruitment, but these two schools are sure to be near his top schools throughout.

DE Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla./Crestview): Ware has been committed to FSU since September, but the Gators continue to pursue the talented defensive end. Ware took an unofficial visit to Florida for a game this year and came away impressed. He remains firmly committed to FSU, but Florida is still lingering.

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Class of 2014 defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County) took a short trip to Gainesville to watch the Gators play Bowling Green, and the 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior came away from the visit impressed.

"I thought Florida played real well and I liked the atmosphere," Dawson said. "It's very loud in there and the people were solidly behind the Gators."

Dawson said he'll probably go back to Florida again at some point during the season and will also go to a game at FSU.

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CROSS CITY, Fla. -- For 2014 defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County), the dream has always been to play college football at a big-time college program. After earning offers at camp from nearby schools Florida and Florida State, it looks like Dawson will get his chance.

[+] EnlargeDuke Dawson
Derek Tyson/ESPN.com2014 safety Duke Dawson has offers from Florida, Florida State, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Heading into his junior year, Dawson is just learning what the recruiting process is all about, but the 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete says he has enjoyed the process so far.

"The attention is exciting," Dawson said. "It's always been my dream to play at a big school one day and now it looks like I will have that opportunity. It's been pretty cool."

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- 2014 defensive back prospect Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County) was a relatively unknown prospect heading in this week, but after a strong camp performance at Florida and Florida State, the talented cornerback has picked up offers from both schools.

The 5-foot-11, 184-pound athlete said he enjoyed his time in Gainesville earlier in the week and noted that it was different than his FSU experience.

"It was pretty good," Dawson said of his visit to Florida. "They took me around the whole school, took me on a tour, showed me some different places. It was really unique. I really liked it. I really look forward to going there again. It was different than what Florida State showed me. They looked at me like I was part of the team already."

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