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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Illini commit talks U-M, decision date

By Jared Shanker

Reon Dawson was ready to open up his wallet. He thought he was going to have to pay for his ticket to the Michigan game. Mike McCray II (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) was the recruit, not him.

But Dawson, the Trotwood-Madison defensive back, was being recruited by the Wolverines, too, even if he didn’t know it.

“The first time, I didn’t know I was being recruited by Michigan,” Dawson said laughing. “I thought I was going to have to pay for my own ticket.”

This past weekend was a little different. Since that previous visit in November, Dawson has added a Michigan offer and he officially visited Ann Arbor this weekend. He said the visit went really well, and he saw a lot of familiar faces.

With several Ohio prospects on Michigan’s roster, Dawson is familiar with the Wolverines. Roy Roundtree is from the his high school, and Dawson knows early enrollees Taco Charlton, Ross Douglas and fellow 2013 commit Shane Morris.

“I really enjoyed myself,” Dawson said.

The three-star safety has been committed to the Illini since May and remained committed despite the Wolverines’ best efforts. He knows at Illinois he will have an opportunity to play early.

“They said I could start early, and I didn’t know they were up with the Ivy League in education and you’d be getting one of the best educations in the nation,” Dawson said. “And I’d have an opportunity to be with the guys I have established a relationship with, like Aaron Bailey and Chunky (teammate Jarrod Clements).

A final decision will come Wednesday after talking with his family and his girlfriend’s mother, with whom he has a very close relationship.

“I’ve been thinking about it ... and first off, education will be big. You can get hurt on any given play and you need something to fall back on,” Dawson said. “I’ll talk to my family, and by Wednesday it’ll be done. I need a couple of days to think about this decision.”

In the meantime, Dawson will continue to hear from his Trotwood-Madison teammates. McCray is committed to Michigan, while Clements is an Illini pledge.

“School is crazy,” he said, laughing. “My teammates will see me in the hall and will say stay or some will say go. Then I have class with Chunky and another with Mike and I sit next to both in both classes, so I get an ear full.”