David Dawson, Ex-Wolverine

David Dawson, Ex-Wolverine

January 2, 2017

David Dawson

Offensive guard David Dawson, who would be a fifth year senior at Michigan this fall, is seeking a graduate transfer elsewhere. He announced Monday via Twitter that he would be leaving.

Dawson attended Detroit (MI) Cass Tech, transferred to Texas for his junior¬†year, and then returned to Cass Tech as a senior. He committed to Michigan in February 2012 as a part of the 2013 class, decommitted, and then later recommitted to the Wolverines. In fact, he broke Brady Hoke’s infamous “no visit” policy when he took a recruiting trip to Florida while committed to Michigan, so the coaching staff moved on without him. Eventually, fences were mended and he was “re-offered.”

I took a lot of flak for my thoughts on Dawson when he committed (LINK). You can see there that I was not fond of his abilities, and people were annoyed in the comments. My Twitter mentions weren’t a happy place, either. I gave him a TTB Rating of 71 (at the low end of being an eventual solid starter), and even that was generous. I didn’t see great bend in him, nor did I see a lot of nastiness in his play. Those things seemed to play out at Michigan, as well. He played in twelve career games without ever starting, and when he did play, he did not excel. He played in just three games as a backup in 2016, though an arm injury in the spring hampered him somewhat.

You’ll also see in the link above that I was afraid Michigan would fill up in the 2013 class without having room for the likes of Ethan Pocic. In fact, Pocic was turned away by Michigan and ended up signing with LSU. How did Pocic’s career go in Baton Rouge? He was First Team All-SEC in 2016, Second Team All-SEC in 2015, and started for his entire sophomore year after backup duty as a freshman. He’s considered to be one of the top couple center prospects in the 2017 draft. Imagine if Michigan had an all-conference center the past couple seasons to free up Mason Cole or Graham Glasgow to help at tackle or guard. Considering Michigan lost three games by a total of five points this season, it’s not inconceivable that it could have put Michigan in the playoff, if not at 12-0 in the regular season.

The loss of Dawson should not affect the team much in 2017. He was not expected to start, and he probably would not have been a key backup, either. He was obviously passed on the depth chart by the likes of freshman Ben Bredeson, classmate Patrick Kugler, sophomore Grant Newsome, redshirt sophomore Juwann Bushell-Beatty, and others. Next year’s starting interior could very well be Bredeson, center Mason Cole, and rising sophomore Michael Onwenu. With some highly rated recruits coming in and with some other promising young players, Dawson would have been battling just to be second string.

Michigan has 87 scholarship players scheduled for the fall of 2017 (LINK), so I expect some more departures. Quarterback Shane Morris and long snapper Scott Sypniewski have already begun seeking grad transfers, too.


  1. Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jan 02, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Still not sure whether it would have been better to have an undistinguished 5th year senior or someone younger with no game experience at all backing up at G. Looks like that decision won’t have to be made.

    Hard to be optimistic about the Oline this year…it looks like a patchwork job at best. We’ll just have to hope it gets better as the season goes on.

    • Comments: 522
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Jan 02, 2017 at 5:25 PM

      My hope — call it misplaced; it may well be — is that we’ll be surprised by the young guys who were recruited and have had Drevno coaching from day one. I doubt they will be a world-beating OL. But maybe … just maybe … they’ll be consistent and show improvement game to game.

      If the rumors about a certain California RB prove to be true (please let it be so), then perhaps we’ll have a difference-maker at that position. If the OL can be “good enough” maybe we’ll see some run/pass balance.

      A man can dream, right?

  2. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Jan 02, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    ‘Dawson’ is a good place tho to leave the past and look to the future.
    2015 & 2016 were definately transition years and 2017 will be the last of them as in 2018 the Team will be in Harbaugh’s image………

    The focus of my interest continues to be in the recruit & development of the OL. I look forward to see who else joins as a part of the 17 class but also as to what apparently is on the horizon for both ’18 as well as ’19.

    Good locally geographic prospects for both 2018 & 2019 not to mention whomever Harbaugh & Drevno bring in from across the land……..


  3. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jan 02, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Best of luck to the young man. We need Tackles! Watching Barkley though, I can hope that a great RB will ease our young & inexperienced OL, thereby boosting the pass game and entire O / team

    Thanks for all the work Thunder! It’s been a pain getting on here lately, but well worth the wait


  4. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jan 02, 2017 at 6:21 PM

    My read: Bredeson is likely sticking at OG and they like Kugler and Ruiz about as much, if not more, than Dawson for 2017.

    Obviously OT is the big question, on both sides. Presumably, the coaches have some ideas and I know I’m not the only one wondering about a grad transfer option.

    Passing on Pocic was overtly stupid – and I said so at the time. This staff – it looks like – isn’t going to make the same mistake of taking too few OL. Now if they are getting the right ones is the question.

    • Comments: 1364
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jan 02, 2017 at 8:11 PM

      They are also looking at Onwenu on the OL, and if he is as good as Harbaugh was raving about all last fall, you’d think he’ll be able to start. It may not be completely settled as to which side of the ball he ends up on, depending on injuries and how other guys develop, but right now, he’s listed on offense on the roster.

  5. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Jan 02, 2017 at 7:06 PM

    Harbaugh is done with transfers……………
    He brought in O’Korn, Rudock, Blake & Isaac because of ALL the ???? marks regarding the 2015 team when he was initially hired. Those Q’s no longer remain; He know’s this roster well. The transfers served their stopgap purpose & there is no need for them anymore.
    I have the 2017 team penciled in at another 10-2 or 9-3 and given the ‘almost solved’ issues re the OL and that ’17 is the last of the transition years; I’m more then content with that……….

    I look forward to observe & enjoy watching this team grow, play and mature in 2017 BUT I’m damn excited about what takes the field in2018!!!!!!!!

    Futures baybee! Futures!

    • Comments: 1364
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jan 02, 2017 at 8:23 PM

      I certainly wouldn’t call our Oline issues “almost solved”. Right now we have one starting spot that could be considered settled for next year (Cole at C), and even that could change depending on the tackle situation.

      And let’s face it…we have a lot of positions other than that where we lose a lot. Unless we get Clark back, our back 7 is stripped clean of starters, except for McCray. Our starting Dline looks good, but depth is not there like this year. We will not be nearly as good at stopping people as we were this year. We lose our top three wide receivers and a nominally all-American tight end, with no proven production returning at either spot. Projecting the exact same record as last year is not very realistic at this point.

  6. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Jan 02, 2017 at 8:53 PM

    Yeah The OL issues are ‘almost solved’ and by 2018 the OL will be where Harbaugh & Drev want it to be………..

    Let me give you the History of the next 2 years as I’m already into 2019.
    2017 is the last of the transitional years & I’m already past it. Like Jimmy, I see ‘Big picture’ & 2017 has already been played before my Minds Eye. I’ve already moved past it. Catch up to the Days of Future past bro. Let go of 2017 and enjoy the Future Becoming Harbaugh Teams………….


    • Comments: 1364
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Jan 02, 2017 at 9:37 PM

      So what’s your 2018 starting Oline that doesn’t involve finger-crossing and performance in player development that Drevno has yet to display here?

      • Comments: 400
        Joined: 12/24/2016
        Jan 02, 2017 at 10:03 PM

        Please don’t inquire of me the mundane details of day to day ooops game to game roster participation that the university is paying millions of $$ to others (Harbaugh & Co.) to worry about………. I have no doubt that I am completely inadequate anyway to try and ascertain any competent fulfillment to such a demanding endeavor. Wouldn’t you agree ?; as i’m sure your opinion is so valued by them and they would never have a need (or desire) to include me in their loop when all they would need to do is sign in here and ask of you?

        HAH! ok ok . All bs aside I don’t see anything on the 2017 schedule to be to concerned about reaching a W/L of 10-2 or 9-3; do you? you really do?

        We get beat at Happy Valley: It will be a White Out Night Out and they have a bye week to prepare; we lose to the defending Big10 ChaMPS………….
        A ditto at Madison: Will be another Red out Nite out and again a loss for the Maize n Blue……….

        What other game(s) on the skedgule do we lose???? Game 1 with Florida at Jerry’s Hawse?? doesn’t happen (My FSU Seminole & Wolverine Master Blaster bi-polar self denys this)

        The fukeyez in the Big House: Tha aih happenun n 2017………..

        No 10-2 – a trip sumwhere for a 9-3??? where o where?? @Indiana? MSU at home?nnn

        Please stop jez stop……..
        i ain’t sayin; I’m jez sayin.

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