Hanahan (S.C.) 2019 prospect Cooper Dawson received what he called a “life-changing” scholarship offer from Clemson, his dream school, two weeks ago.
Head coach Dabo Swinney and area recruiter Tony Elliott extended the offer on June 13, a week after he was on campus for the first session of the Swinney Camp.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Dawson, who said he has been in touch with Elliott and Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell since then.
“They’re definitely more unique than any other coaches,” he said. “I think all of them are held to a standard with their faith. They’re all led very well, and they know the right words to say.”
Dawson (6-5, 250) is being recruited by most schools as a defensive end, while Clemson is among a few schools that have offered him as an offensive lineman. South Florida has offered him as a tight end.
Unfortunately, Dawson suffered an ACL tear while competing at the Swinney Camp on June 5. He underwent surgery Friday and will miss his upcoming senior season.
“All I know is they said that I’ll be on crutches for about two weeks,” he said. “They went and installed a machine in the house that’s going to circulate ice around my leg, and hopefully I’ll be up and going as soon as I can.
“They say it’s an eight-month process, but I think I can shorten that a couple months.”
Dawson recently made an unofficial visit to Central Florida, and is planning to check out schools such as Army, Navy and some Ivy League schools as part of a Northeastern swing toward the end of July.
Incidentally, the end of July is when Clemson will hold its annual All In Cookout for commitments and select recruits, and Dawson was invited to attend it. He said he “possibly” still might be able to make it to the cookout.
“I know they’ve got that cookout planned on the 27th, but I might be at Army,” Dawson said. “It’s a lot easier to make it to Clemson, per se, than the schools out of the state. So, I’ve just got to plan to get around to everybody.”
If he is able to attend the cookout, Dawson hopes it will serve as bonding time for him and Caldwell.
“If I did commit to Clemson, I guess I’d be working with coach Caldwell more since they want me for O-line,” Dawson said. “So just building a relationship with him more since I didn’t get to very much at the camp.”
Princeton gave Dawson his latest offer on Monday, joining Clemson, Wake Forest, South Florida, Central Florida, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State, Army, Navy, Old Dominion, Holy Cross and Brown on his offer list.
Dawson intends to announce his college decision during the early signing period in December, though he could silently commit to a school before then.
“I might talk to the coaches, wherever I end up deciding to go, and tell them,” he said. “But wherever I decide to go, I’ll keep it low key until December signing day.”
Clemson obviously looms large in Dawson’s recruitment.
Aside from picking a school, the biggest decision for Dawson will be choosing what position he wants to play at the next level.
“It’s been my dream school since I was a kid,” he said of Clemson. “I just have to make the decision if I want to take a chance at offensive tackle and see where that takes me, or if I want to have fun at another position.”
Dawson also participated in the Swinney Camp last summer and has been to Clemson a number of times for games.
App State and Coastal have offered him as an offensive lineman as well, while South Florida has offered as a tight end. The rest of his suitors are recruiting him as a defensive end.
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