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February 4, 2013
Dalyn Dawkins didn't make up his mind on where to go to college until Sunday night, about 24 hours before the Louisville running back committed to Purdue.
This months after he'd first made up his mind.
"Earlier on, I knew in my mind I was going to Cincinnati, but Coach Jones left and it re-started the whole process for me," the versatile Trinity High School star said. "I didn't commit, but they basically knew I was going there. I told them I wasn't going to commit (early) and I'm glad I didn't."
So's Purdue right now, as it turned out.
Shortly after taking over the Boilermaker program full-time, Coach Darrell Hazell targeted the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Rivals.com three-star prospect as a prime late target, hoping he could replicate the success he had at Kent State with a similar sort of player, Dri Archer, who led the Golden Flashes in both rushing and receiving this past season, totaling 20 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards in just 11 games.
Dawkins was asked if Purdue showed him film of Archer during his official visit this past weekend.
"What they did was they showed me his stats," Dawkins said. "That was good enough for me. And I've seen Dri Archer play, so I already had an idea."
Hazell told Dawkins he'd plan to use him similarly.
"I'm of course going to be play running back, but they'll also use me just a little bit in the slot to throw me the ball and use me different ways," Dawkins said. "But I'm definitely going to be a running back and run the football.
"I know I can do it, play a little slot when I'm not in at running back. I like to be a dynamic playmaker."
That opportunity was just part of the reason Dawkins chose Purdue over Western Kentucky Monday night, putting one of the final pieces of Hazell's first Boilermaker recruiting class in place.
"First of all the academics are really good and I'll get a great education there and that'll take me a long way," said Dawkins, who also visited Colorado State and was recruited seriously by Illinois, Kentucky and Miami (Fla.) among others. "The second thing is Big Ten football. That's big-time football and it'll give me a whole lot of exposure on a national level and give me a chance to play great competition, to play fun football in front of a great fan base. That, and the coaching staff."
As a senior at Trinity - the school previously sent snapper Jesse Schmitt and offensive lineman Joey Warburg to Purdue in past classes - Dawkins ran for roughly 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns, while catching six scores and accumulating 500-plus receiving yards.
Dawkins is part of Purdue's movement to re-stock its offensive backfield, as he joins David Yancey, Keyante Green and Keith Byars III as its running back recruits.
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