Vanderbilt has 19 players on its roster from Georgia.
One that got away will be on the opposite sideline Saturday night in Sanford Stadium.
Josh Dawson from Tucker High was a signing day boost for Georgia. He had been a Vanderbilt commitment but made the switch.
Dawson saw significant playing time last week, making two tackles, including one and a half for loss. He’s been limited in practice this week a sprained shoulder.
Dawson spoke last week about his decision to go to Georgia and his thoughts on the two men that had that postgame confrontation after last year’s Georgia-Vanderbilt game. You might have heard something about it. Dawson said he doesn’t know if Vanderbilt coach James Franklin might approach him before the game.
On Vanderbilt: “The whole program is a great program. Nothing against them. I just felt like I was more comfortable here at Georgia. It’s my home state so I felt more comfortable. My family is an hour away. …I felt the comfort level here, Plus, I knew more people on the team. It just felt like home when I came here instead of Vanderbilt. Not taking anything away from Vanderbilt. It’s a good program, a good coaching staff. The players treated me like family.”
On James Franklin: “He’s an energetic person. When you talk to coach (Mark) Richt, he’s more of a laid-back guy. Coach Franklin he’s an energetic guy, always excitement. He’s a fiery guy, kind of like coach Grantham. He just gets the guys going. You can say he’s a players-type coach. The players really like him. That was something he sold.”
On Franklin’s reaction when Dawson picked Georgia: “A little disappointed, but understood. It was just something I felt like I had to do and I was glad I came here.”
On Vanderbilt’s recruiting success last year: “The early commitment really stood out to me. When a program gets so many early commitments in the summer, I think they had like 11 commitments early summer. They were doing something good there. It really stood out to the whole class.”
On Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Franklin: “They’re both fiery guys, but coach Grantham, he has a little bit more humor streak. Most people don’t know, but he’s a pretty funny guy. The more and more you talk to coach Grantham the more and more comfortable you get with him. Most of the time when I talked to coachFranklinit was football-wise, but when I talked to coach Grantham, it’s everything from family to football to school. It was more comfortable with coach Grantham.”
On if he saw last year’s incident at the end of the Georgia-Vanderbilt game: “We were actually on the field by the locker rooms. They had us (the Vanderbilt recruits) so far back that you really couldn’t tell what was going on. You read it in the newspaper. SEC football, I guess. That’s all you can say is SEC football. They’re competitors.”
On if he was surprised to see that from Franklin: “That was the coach Franklin that he introduced me to. I was pretty relaxed about it. I knew what was going on.”
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