Most photos are courtesy of Chrystal Moore Photography
Dawson Coltran from Allatoona High School is quietly receiving offers to play both football and lacrosse in college. When most college coaches want kids to play two sports to stay active, it’s not always the case they will get offers in both sports, especially in two contact sports.
Head football coach Gary Varner says, “It’s refreshing to have a two sport athlete in an age of specialization and year-round sports who is so passionate about them both like Dawson is.”
The 6’3” senior has played football and lacrosse every season since his freshmen year for Allatoona. When you see him in person, you quickly see that he is all arms and legs. The last two lacrosse seasons he helped lead his lacrosse team to the 6A-7A GA State Semi-finals and the Elite 8, respectively. Last season he led all receivers in receptions and yards and helped the Buccaneer football team reach the Elite 8 in the 6A State Playoffs. While still early this season, he is again leading the team in receptions and yards.
When Dawson was younger, he played a lot of positions on the football field. Wide Receiver has always been his first love, but he also played some quarterback, safety, running back, punt returner, kick returner, and just about anywhere else his coach told him to play. As the years have gone by, he has settled into Wide Receiver, the slot, and occasionally at Tight End. With his long arms and soft hands, Dawson helps move the chains for his offense on a consistent basis.
Offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Mike Dennison says, “Coltran is a big target that excels at high pointing the football. He runs crisp routes and competes when the ball is in the air. He has great hands and is a very athletic player.”
“I love to win, no matter what sport I’m playing. It’s not about any one player on the field, it’s about the team. It’s about the victory. I know that every teammate on the field has to do their job in order for an individual or for our team to succeed. If my job is to block, I block. If I’m running a route, catching a pass, or stopping an attackmen from scoring, I just do my job. If everyone does their job, we will win the game. And my goal is the same every year, to win a state championship in both sports.”
In a run oriented offense, Dawson led all wide receivers in catches and in receiving yards his Junior year. He is also leading his team in receptions and receiving yards after the first 4 games of his Senior season. Dawson averaged 22.2 YPC his junior season with two touchdowns and this year is averaging 21.3 YPC. He is a guy that is going to move the chains for you. He is a big target that will make the catch and then turn up the field quickly and make positive yardage.
Head Lacrosse coach Jonathan Wishon, who has taught and coached Dawson since middle school says he is excited that he has the opportunity to play both lacrosse and football at the next level.
“I’ve coached several dual-sport athletes over the last ten years and Dawson is one of only two to receive offers to play at the next level in both sports. Dawson’s speed, quickness, and size allows him to play at a high level at both sports. Specifically for lacrosse, Dawson is a great, physical defensive midfielder and the sky is the limit for his offensive effectiveness. He transitions the ball very well and operates very effectively with the ball in his stick and has great field IQ.”
On the lacrosse field, Dawson is everything a coach wants for a defensive midfielder with the new shot clock now coming to college lacrosse. He is a ground ball hog and is a physical player. On the football field he is an athlete that doesn’t necessarily blow you away if you just look at him on a spreadsheet. His 4.7 forty speed or his weight of 185 lbs might seem average, but his long stride helps him get open and pick up yards fast. His speed is deceiving and he always seems to get open. Many times he will pull the safety to his side of the field because he is a threat that can’t be ignored, opening up running lands or leaving other receivers open. And when a ball does come his way, high, low, left or right, he finds a way to come down with it.
He really is a hybrid player who after a college weight program is done with him, with his large frame, could easily play TE in the future. Coach Dennison says, “He has the frame that he could become an H back at the next level.”
He has those intangibles you want on a football or lacrosse team, and when coaches see it, I think they will want him on their roster. Unlike some athletes who get held back a year, Dawson is a true senior. He is only 17 years old and will continue to fill out his 6’3” frame.
When it comes to him as a teammate, he is always encouraging everyone on the field. He is the first one to congratulate players after making big plays, but you won’t see him going crazy on the field and jumping around. He will be the guy giving shoulder bumps, and looking guys in the eyes and encouraging them.
“My parents have always told me I’m too serious sometimes. When the game is about to start, I like to stay calm. I don’t want to get so hyped up that when my number is called I make a bad play. I don’t want to let myself or my team down. When I do make a play, I love to celebrate it and let my emotion out. I just try to stay within myself.”
Coach Jeremy Anderson, WR position coach, expressed that, “Dawson is a great, quiet leader on the team that helps push players to reach their highest potential.”
It’s easy to see why Dawson is being recruited to play both football and lacrosse in college. He currently has 3 offers in each sport, with one Division I offer for football at Morehead State. I really think other Div. I programs will take notice of him as the season continues.
As far as what I think he will do in college, playing two sports is a challenge. He is a good student who can likely handle the added pressure of the time commitment and physicality of two contact sports, but I think Dawson could likely have some hard choices to make in the near future. Either playing both sports, or choosing one over the other. Regardless of what he decides to do, a college will be getting a great student athlete in their program.
Interested in recruiting Dawson Coltran? Click HERE to visit his Recruit Georgia Profile.