GULFPORT – David Dawson is a dude.

The 6’0″, 220-pound senior running back put on a show all year long for Boca Ciega.

After totaling 497 yards on 49 touches as a junior, Dawson has 870 yards and seven touchdowns on 70 touches, per MaxPreps.

He also had a 45-yard touchdown and played most of the second half of the season finale against visiting St. Petersburg despite an injury.

Dawson says the main reason for his success this season is the goals he set for himself.

“Every game I try to get over 100 yards so far I’ve achieved my goal,” he said.

In his second varsity season, first as a full-time starter Dawson has seen the reason why the Pirates have been able to post a 5-3 record, their first above .500 since 2007.

“We respect one another,” Dawson said. “No player on the team sees themselves as the best player on the team, we see each other as equal. We build so much chemistry.”

Boca Ciega will make the trip down to Punta Gorda to take on undefeated Charlotte in the 6A region quarterfinal. Dawson is ready.

“My mindset has been the same as any Friday ‘win the game.’ I believe we will make it to the 2nd round,” he said.

Starting his football career at age 12, Dawson opened up as an offensive lineman for the first three years. Then, he made the switch to running back. In his first game as a back, he scored four touchdowns and that’s where he says he found the confidence he has right now.

Dawson says his grandmother serves as his biggest motivation.

He plays for third-year coach Max Smith, who posted a 4-16 record the past two seasons. Dawson calls it great to learn under Smith.

“He has a high level of energy being around coach Smith gets me rallied up,” he said.

Dawson says his biggest strength is his knack for never giving up even when things get tough. He’s always looking to improve his decision making.

No offers or interest have come his way as he says he is waiting patiently for an opportunity to play at the next level.

Dawson’s ultimate goal is to make it college and study civil engineering. He pointed out that he would only be the second person in his family to ever go to college.

It’s absolutely stunning to me that David Dawson doesn’t have a college program interested in him. This is a bright kid who knows how to pound the rock. He’s a swift runner, who rarely surrenders on the field when he hits the hole.

No matter what level (Division-I, II, III or NAIA) someone needs to give Dawson a chance to play ball. You won’t find a more energetic and poised kid out there. Boca Ciega is lucky to have him. Regardless of how his football plans work out, he’s headed towards big things.


Quick Hitters

Favorite player to watch – Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Leonard Fournette”

Game film: Dawson’s Hudl tape

In case you missed it:

1-on-1 with Boca Raton RB/LB Latayveon Beaton

Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at

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