Kahlil Dawson, a two-way all-league performer for Graham-Kapowsin High School’s football team last season, is taking his talents to Portland State University as a defensive back.
Dawson signed a national letter of intent to attend PSU and be a member of the Vikings’ team beginning this fall. And his new coach, Nigel Burton, is glad to have him in the fold.
Burton said Dawson is one of several recruits the Vikings pursued in part because of their fleet-footedness.
“At the skill-position areas, we really put a premium on speed,” said Burton.
Dawson was named to the All-South Puget Sound League football team for 2012 after a season of standout performances on defense and offense, the latter as a running back. He was a major contributor to the Eagles’ 8-2 record, second-place finish in the SPSL’s South division and a first-round appearance in the 4A playoffs.
Portland State is an NCAA Division 1 program and a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings’ record last season was 3-8.
Their non-conference schedule for the 2013 season includes a season-opening matchup Sept. 7 at University of California-Berkeley, a Pacific 12 conference member. It will be the Vikings’ second contest with a Pac-12 foe in as many years. Washington beat them 52-13 in 2012.
Dawson was amng 21 student-athletes who signed up with Portland State on national letter of intent day Feb. 6. Burton said he is thrilled with the quality of the recruits. Fifteen are high school seniors, four are junior college transfers and two are transferring from universities.
“We put emphasis on getting kids from programs that win a lot of football games and know how to win,” said Burton.