By LARRY VAUGHT
He continues to hear from some of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top football programs, including Oregon and three in the Southeastern Conference, as well as a slew of recruiting analysts and media members. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been selected to play in one of the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s elite high school all-star games Ã¢â‚¬â€ the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio Jan. 8 on NBC-TV Ã¢â‚¬â€ and recently set a school record with 32 tackles against East Jessamine.
Yet Boyle County senior Lamar Dawson has not wavered on his final seven schools and continues to insist winning a state championship remains his top priority. Boyle, which has a 25-game winning streak and has won 38 of 39 games the last three years, opens the playoffs Friday by hosting Bourbon County.
Here are some thoughts he shared during a live chat at vaughtsviews.com:
Question: When are you going to commit?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I plan right now to make my decision around signing day. My top schools remain Kentucky, Oregon, Florida, Michigan, Louisville, USC and Tennessee.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you coming to Kentucky?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was at Kentucky for the Georgia game and had a nice time. Kentucky remains on my list. I am going to Tennessee for the Kentucky game later this year and they are also still on my list.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What is the biggest factor you will be looking for in picking a school?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am looking for the best school where I feel comfortable. Distance will not be a factor. It will be a combination of how I fit with the players and coaches.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Jacob Tamme or you? Who’s the better Boyle County star?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jacob Tamme because he is in the NFL and he has four state championship rings and bowl rings from college, too.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What do you plan on studying in college?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am still undecided about a major in college as of now.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you aware that you will fit very nicely with UK, a team that needs a stud linebacker like you?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It could be a great opportunity for me but there is also a chance for playing time at other schools. A chance to play early will be a little bit of a factor in my college choice. I am going to make my own decision. I really am not relying on anyone else to help me decide.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Does program history play a big factor for you … does a school like Florida seem more appealing to you than a school with less history like UK?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“History really does not play a factor with me. I am just looking at what is best for me as of now.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Would it be important and be a key factor to try and help a program turn the page?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really have not thought about what I could do for a program or anything like that. I just want to decide where will be best for me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: How much of an impact do you think you could make on a program from a leadership standpoint?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I hope I can be a big role model and do the right things on and off the field and have guys look up to me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: What do you like the most about UK?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I like that Kentucky is close to home and knowing the city up there and I know people like Jordan Aumiller.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Do you feel like you can come into the college game and be an impact player as a freshman?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I work hard, I think I could be. I will just have to get used to the bigger linemen on the college level, and the speed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Is there anything that sticks out about Kentucky coach Joker PhillipsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ personality?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just think coach Phillips is a great guy. He is just funny and has a great personality.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you looking to complete a degree or make it to the NFL as soon as possible?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am looking to complete my degree, but if there was an opportunity to go in the first two rounds of the draft I would have to go. I have always dreamed about playing in the NFL.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Do you have a preference about which linebacker position you play in college?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really don’t care which position. I sometimes play outside and sometimes in the middle even for us now, so it doesn’t really matter.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Do you think you are strong and fast enough to start as a freshman in the SEC?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think I am fast enough and strong enough to play and that’s what teams are telling me is why they are recruiting me.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Who is someone that you look up to or someone that you try to play like?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I like Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers. I watched him at Mississippi. I just like the way he plays.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Why you are considering Tennessee?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“They have a good program, they are in the SEC and I like the coaches.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you a UK fan in the sense of just being a pure fan?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have been a Kentucky fan ever since I was little.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you going to make your list of top schools smaller at some point or is it going to stay at the current list until you make your decision?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“At some point I will narrow down to about three or four. That is still hard to do until I get to visit each place.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Question: Are you going to take an official visit to Kentucky?
Dawson: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I don’t know about Kentucky. It’s so close I might not use an official there and probably the same with Louisville.Ã¢â‚¬Â