According to quotes via Bill Kurelic of 247Sports.com, Dawson, who has Florida, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Michigan State on top of his interest list, seems to be taking notice of what Meyer and the Buckeyes are accomplishing this season:
“Even though they have sanctions they are 8-0,” Dawson said. “Even though they can’t go to a bowl game they are playing with a lot of determination and heart.
“I know a lot about Urban Meyer. I know what he’s doing. He’s won national championships.”
This quote from Dawson illustrates exactly why many felt that the Big Ten should be worried about Meyer joining their ranks, including myself. He has the ability to draw elite recruits to his program, and that's going to make Ohio State very formidable, both now and in the future.
He brings championship experience that no other coach in the conference has to the recruiting process, but his range is not just limited to the Big Ten. He brings a championship experience that really only Nick Saban at Alabama can match, which makes Ohio State a huge recruiting draw nationally as well.
Meyer is so much more than his past accomplishments though, and that's the second factor you can see in Dawson's quotes. He's an incredible motivator and football coach. The fact that his team has had to fight for wins knowing it's not going to necessarily matter nationally is a huge indication of what Meyer is doing at Ohio State.
If he can motivate his team with nothing but pride on the line, what is he going to be able to do when conference championships, bowl games and even National Championships are at stake?
This is a fact that has obviously resonated with Dawson, but it's not the only advantage Ohio State has for the nation's No. 1 offensive guard recruit, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation. The other day I gave a few reasons why I felt Ohio State has the edge for Dawson—mainly proximity and playing time—and those factors still stand and should play a huge issue in his decision.
For those wondering where Florida stands with Dawson, who just took a visit to Gainsville, check out this quote from the guard via Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.com:
"I rushed myself into a bad situation at Michigan earlier this year by not weighing my options, so I didn't want to make the same mistake," he said. "I want to look at a few other schools close to home, and that might play a factor in the long run. That's mainly because of all the things my family has been through in the last year, so I feel that maybe I should try to stay close to my support system."
There's yet another reason to believe that Ohio State has the advantage here.
If distance really does play a factor, and it seems to be important to Dawson, Ohio State would really only have to compete with the likes of Michigan State for his commitment. No offense to the Spartans, but I dare say Meyer and his program would have the edge in just about every other category.
His quotes about Ohio State's season and coach Meyer's championship experience should only serve to strengthen that belief.
At this point, it's hard not to consider Ohio State the favorite for Dawson.