SAN ANTONIO - Charlotte (N.C.) Phillip O'Berry linebacker Nick Dawson is nothing if not consistent.
When Dawson showed up in San Antonio a year ago for the U.S. Army Junior Combine he listed three favorites - Clemson, Louisville and N.C. State. On Saturday, those same three schools' hats were on the table in front of him as he announced his college selection.
Other prospects shuffle teams in and out of their top group. They fall in love with one school, then are singing the praises of another the next. Dawson considered many schools over the course of his recruitment, but at the end of the process he was looking at the same three programs he started with a year ago.
"I'm going back home to Louisville," Dawson announced. "That's going to be a great opportunity and open up a lot of doors for me."
The Louisville Cardinals extended an early offer to Dawson and immediately appealed to the 6-3, 228-pound prospect because his dad lives near their campus. He was also born in Louisville and visited the program several times during the course of the process, most recently in December for his official visit.
After deliberating with his father and aunt over the holidays, Dawson arrived in San Antonio with his decision already in mind. That decision became public on Saturday and Dawson is happy to be a Cardinal.
In Dawson, head coach Charlie Strong is getting a big middle linebacker prospect who showed all week in Army Bowl practices that he has the instincts to anticipate plays and the physical abilities to disrupt the offense's plan before it develops. He is ranked as the No. 132 overall prospect in the country and the No. 6 middle linebacker nationally.