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Diamonds in the Rough

2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jayden Dawson, DB, Montana

Jayden Dawson the versatile defensive back from Montana recently sat down with Evan Willsmore from NFL Draft Diamonds.
Jayden Dawson the versatile defensive back from Montana recently sat down with Evan Willsmore from NFL Draft Diamonds.
  • Name: Jayden Dawson
  • Position: Cornerback/Safety
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 185 lbs
  • School: University of Montana (previously Idaho State)
  • Level: Division I FCS – Big Sky Conference
  • Twitter: dawson_jayden
  • Instagram: iam_jsdi

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?

Major: Psychology (graduated December 2021)

Currently pursuing Masters in business administration 

Minored in business to get into MBA program 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

My best quality is my work ethic and leadership capabilities.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I see myself as a team player. I want to play nickel or in the box and guard slot receivers. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

Tanner Conner – Idaho State (track speed)

Romeo Doubs – Nevada

Eric Barriere – Eastern Washington

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

Justin Ford or Lucas Johnson. 

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

My grandfather passing away a week before CIF championship game – junior year of high school. It was harder to get mentally prepared for the game, and I wanted him to be there with me. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

Between soccer and track, probably soccer. I played soccer in my youth prior to middle school. Shifted to football to be more aggressive. I like track because of the hurdles, I was the 300m champion sophomore year of high school. 

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

Graduating with my bachelor’s degree. 

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

Pick-six against Weber State – first collegiate pick-six in a cover-two formation. 

69-yard INT against UC Davis – Big Sky player of the week honors for this play. 

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

Jalen Ramsey or Xavien Howard, cornerbacks for the Rams and Dolphins. 

What gets you “pumped up” before a game?

The music that I listen to – no specific genre. Everyone has butterflies during the game, if you don’t have butterflies then you don’t care. Music helps calm the nerves before kickoff. 

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?

I love competing in external sports – bowling and spikeball primarily. 

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?

Football is something I have played since I was 13 – now I’m 23 and still have the same love and passion for the game. A lot of people have already walked away from the game by that point in their lives. I want to be active in all facets of the game.

My grandfather continues to motivate me since his passing. I say a prayer to my grandfather before every game, he would have loved to watch me in college. 

Other notes:

Smaller kid in high school, playing safety at 5’8” 160. Needed to develop a bit more. Should have been in JUCO but went straight to NAIA program in Idaho. Played all spots in the secondary. Second-team All-Frontier conference. Went to JUCO, team went 8-3 and later committed to Idaho State (Big Sky). Previous offer from UNLV (FBS) was lost after the coaching staff was fired. Didn’t play until 2021 after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. First team All-Big Sky for spring campaign (delayed from 2020). Fall season was not as successful in my opinion, honorable mention All-Big Sky. Entered transfer portal and was hoping to get FBS interest, eventually committed to Montana after interest from Sacramento State. Top-tier FCS program will help my development more than a lower-tier FBS program. 

18 y/o writer and scout - just trying to give players an opportunity and the recognition they deserve. Fan of all things football.

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