Florida Gators Football: Duke Dawson Will Return For Senior Season
The Florida Gators are expected to lose a lot of talent next season, especially in the secondary. Fortunately for them, Duke Dawson will return.
The the entire Florida Gators starting secondary is draft eligible, which includes Quincy Wilson, Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Duke Dawson Jr., Marcell Harris, Nick Washington, and Marcus Maye. It was expected before the season began that Wilson and Tabor would leave for the draft early, and even though they haven’t yet announced it, that’s still presumed.
Maye is a senior, so he will leave by default.
Dawson, on the other hand, is a junior. At the season’s start, he wasn’t expected to leave because of the limited playing time he received behind now NFL star Brian Poole during his first two years.
Dawson ended up having a fantastic junior campaign. After doing so, rumors and news started to speculate that he would enter the draft early.
Thankfully, Dawson announced via his official Twitter account that he’ll be returning for his senior season.
As far as how Dawson performed this season, he played quite well. The season started off with some ups and downs as he and freshman Chauncey Gardner adjusted to flip-flopping roles.
Once Dawson found his rhythm, he developed into one of the Top 10 slot corners in the country.
Gators’ slot CB Duke Dawson surrendered an opposing QB rating of 64.6, the eighth-lowest among all slot corners.
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) January 1, 2017
As far as how this effects the secondary next season, there will be a lot of youth. The Gators will most likely retain safeties Marcell Harris and Nick Washington, who both finished the season strong in the absence of Marcus Maye.
Gardner also closed the season on a high note by claiming Outback Bowl MVP.
That will be five defensive backs with previous playing time returning. Along with them, the Gators will be bringing back freshmen safeties Quincy Lenton and Jaewon Taylor.
As far as recruits coming in, this defensive backs class has claimed the tag of “special.” Florida currently holds the pledges of two four-star cornerbacks and touted three-star Shawn Davis.
You can say that the Gators’ DBU tag won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
I’m excited to see the new bodies and young talent in the secondary next season. There’s no doubt Florida’s secondary will be loaded once again next year.
Even if they are young, they should still be amongst the best in the nation.
Thankfully, Dawson will be back to lead the secondary in 2017.
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