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STA OL Alters lands UM offer, outlines recruitment

STA OL Alters lands UM offer, outlines recruitment

Stefan Adams
Late last month, 2022 St. Thomas (FL) OL Dawson Alters was one of the more recent linemen to land an offer from Miami Hurricanes OL coach Garin Justice, a move Alters said he didn’t see coming.

“It felt super amazing to get an offer from [Miami],” Alters said. “Especially to get an offer this early on, before spring even starts. I knew it would probably come a couple months down the road, but I didn’t think it’d be that quick.”

The Canes see Alters as a center prospect, which has been his primary position on the line in high school as well. The 6’2” 260-pound recruit also has an intriguing family connection to UM that has boosted his interest higher than most.

“I’ve always been a Canes fan, both my parents went there for law school,” Alters said. “They were both just proud and excited for me to get that offer. Out of all the Florida schools, Miami has always been my favorite growing up. Their academics have improved a lot in the past 10 or 20 years, their football is a top 10 program in the country to me.”

Just 3 weeks back, Alters made the move to transfer to St. Thomas from University School to finish out his academic junior year and prepare for his senior season on the field. Alters had been in the K-12 program at U-School going on 12 years, so leaving the only school he’s ever known was a big change for him, and he talked about the reasons why he left and how his adjustment at STA has been going.

“University School couldn’t really promise us a season [in 2021],” Alters said. “They cancelled all of winter and spring sports this school year, and going forward, they couldn’t promise us a fall. So I just couldn’t take that chance for my senior year.

“I love [St. Thomas]. We haven’t started any workouts yet, we start in about a week. Since I was at University School for 12 years, it was definitely a big change. It was a little difficult adjusting because I transferred mid-year, but I’m pretty much all caught up now.”

While University School themselves didn’t end up having a season in 2020, some of the assistant coaches with the Sharks started what was essentially a club team, forming a squad called TRU Prep Academy made up of Alters, the rest of the U-School players, and 10 other athletes from various other schools. TRU Prep Academy played an exhibition schedule against programs such as St. Thomas and IMG Academy, before going on to win the Independent state championship in Florida last year.

“I think I performed pretty well as a junior. I definitely performed really well against top competition,” Alters said. “I did really well against St. Thomas who had one of the best defensive line’s in the country and a kid going to Alabama (Dallas Turner). From the previous season, I played at about 211 pounds at center, which is obviously very undersized. I improved to 252-255 pounds for my junior season, and I definitely got a lot quicker and a lot faster, my athleticism and my hands improved. I think I can still get even quicker going up to 275.”

In terms of the rest of his recruitment, Alters has another FBS offer from Syracuse, plus bids from Ivy League programs Harvard and Penn, while schools such as Dartmouth and Princeton have also been in contact with him. As Alters claims a 4.77 GPA and takes all AP classes – he’s never gotten a “B” in life – academics are an extremely important consideration for him. Does he lean more towards going to a prestigious Ivy League school or following his dream of playing Power 5 football?

“I haven’t decided yet,” Alters admits. “I definitely want to go to a high academic school, and since Miami’s academics have improved so much, they’re definitely a top option… Aside from academics, it’s really about how much they want me and how much they want me to be a part of their football family. I would be extremely honored to receive an offer or interest from any school, I just want to express that a school wanting and valuing me is just as, if not more, important to me than the strength of the program."

As for when he might make a decision, Alters admits his recruitment won’t be a quick process, and that is partly because of the issues currently going on regarding the NCAA and visits. He hopes to meet several staffs in person whenever the NCAA ends the dead period, which is tentatively scheduled to end in April but has been pushed back several times at this point due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To make an actual commitment decision, I don’t think it’s going to be for several months,” Alters said. “With visits, it’s hard right now since the coaches can’t be involved. I can go to the schools on my own and the coaches have told me they’ll tell me things to go see and do, but nothing can be officially done.”

While Alters waits for visits to open up, he plans on focusing much of this offseason on improving his game and getting more looks from colleges.

“I’m trying to gain more strength, more athleticism,” Alters said. “I always like to focus on athleticism because the game is changing a lot now - these D-Linemen are getting a lot more athletic, so you need to be able to keep up with that. They’re starting to shift away from the 380-pound, giant linemen who can’t move. I’ve also been training for long snapping – that’s just an addition, but I’m still a center primarily.”

 

Comments (9)

Interesting Stefan. Certainly a smart young man given his grades (never a B, wow). We’ll need a good C that’s smart and can make all the line calls. He’s sit behind Rodriguez to me but could provide good competition and depth at the position.
 
Obviously a smart kid. Pretty cool connection to UM as well. On the smaller side but definitely a kid to watch. Will be fun to see him at STA this year. Reading the article reminded me of Cleveland Browns center, JC Tretter, who went to Cornell. Hope Dawson makes a better decision 😉
 
260 as a Hs jr doesn’t sound too small to me for a center prospect. easy to see him getting up towards 290+ by his RS soph year (4 years out). question is how good he is, imo.
 
Before Joaquin said dominate he said no thanks to Harvard. Worked out for him. No guarantees. Kid’s got options. Good on him.
 
A kid this smart and disciplined might go the Harvard or Stanford route. But he doesn't necessarily need to. He could go to any program in the country and still be super attractive to one of those schools at the grad school level once he hung up his cleats. Will be interesting to see where he ends up.
 
Seymour is the exception. This guy too small and light. Would spend more time in the backfield than a RB. Destined to be a lawyer.
 
260 as a Hs jr doesn’t sound too small to me for a center prospect. easy to see him getting up towards 290+ by his RS soph year (4 years out). question is how good he is, imo.

Agreed. He is heavier as a junior C than Zion Nelson was as a senior OT. Assuming he has a decent frame, the weight shouldn't be a big issue. Athleticism and talent is the real question.
 

2022 Commits

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160
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205
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185
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210
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OT
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275
Sandersville, GA

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