Michigan picked up another commitment yesterday when Trotwood cornerback Reon Dawson switched from Illinois to Michigan. What does he bring to the roster?
Cornerback Reon Dawson hails from Trotwood, Ohio. Trotwood is one of the many Cass Tech-like schools in Ohio that produce talent at unprecedented levels, so it's no surprise that Michigan looked there when it needed another corner.
Dawson's recruiting journey hasn't been anything too wild. He camped at a few schools and attended a few scouting combines before earning offers from the likes of Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Penn State, Virginia and West Virginia. He committed to Illinois on May 25th before visiting Michigan later in November. The Wolverines came through with an offer two weeks later, forcing Dawson to rethink his commitment and eventually flip to Michigan.
Dawson is another lanky, rangy field corner that Greg Mattison and his staff seem to love so much. Standing at 6'2", 170, he desperately needs to add another twenty pounds of muscle before he can use his submarine tackle to take down backs and receivers at the college level. He probably runs in the 4.5s right now and has above average agility for someone his height. These numbers are fine right now, but they concern me because those are his numbers before he puts the needed weight on. Michigan already has one awkward defensive back in Channing Stribling and can't afford to miss on two in the same class.
Watch some of Reon's film and you'll see a corner capable of taking away most deep balls, along with anything resembling a jump ball. His height doesn't allow for him to cover short to intermediate routes as well as shorter corner would, but he does get out of his breaks faster than most 6'2" corners. His technique is decent for a high school corner but will still need major improvement when he arrives in Ann Arbor.
Tackling doesn't seem to be a major issue for Dawson, although he does dive at legs or grab from a distance far too often. Twenty pounds of muscle will go a long way in aiding him square up when tackling opponents.
Overall, I think this offer is an unnecessary reach on the part of Michigan, and I'm not the only person with that opinion. DGDestroys' take:
In the journey to find Raymon Taylor's heir apparent at the boundary corner position, Michigan accepted the commitment of OH DB Reon Dawson on Monday. Dawson fills the slot vacated by OSU Commit Gareon Conley, after Conley chose to decommit and switch his allegiance to the Buckeyes.
Just as with Stribling, my thoughts on Dawson are fairly...meh. I'm not impressed by his hip flexibility, physicality, backpedal, or explosiveness. Whereas Conley was a quick-twitch kid who looked like he was 20 pounds away from stardom, Dawson seems to have a fairly low ceiling. When Courtney Avery leaves, Michigan will need to find a back-up for Taylor, and eventually a replacement. While Dawson could be a suitable back-up, and Michigan fans should by now understand the importance of DB depth, I don't think Dawson has the tools to be an elite starter.
You can also see what Ryan Easterling of Scout thought Dawson was going to bring to Illinois. Sorry, Ryan.