Kelton Dawson’s commitment was all about family

Photo of Kelton Dawson courtesy of 247 Sports.

Photo of Kelton Dawson courtesy of 247 Sports.

Kelton Dawson went on his official visit to Georgia Tech as a defensive end from Stockbridge, Ga., but came out on the other side as a Yellow Jacket.

The 3-star defensive end from Stockbridge High School woke up on Sunday morning unable to shake the vision of spending the next three to four years at Georgia Tech.

Dawson kept quiet on his decision to commit to Tech until he met with his parents and Tech coach Paul Johnson on Sunday morning. Only his 22-year-old sister Shamia Dawson, a senior at Georgia State and the creator of Dawson’s announcement video, knew beforehand.

“When I told her (Sunday) morning, she started crying,” Kelton Dawson said. “I came in and I was brushing my teeth and I came in her room and I was like, ‘I’m gonna do it today. I need you to record it for me.’”

On Sunday morning with a camera in hand, Shamira Dawson filmed her brother make the biggest decision of his life so far.

"I want to be a part of the family," Kelton Dawson said to Johnson in his announcement video posted on Twitter on Sunday morning.

Johnson shook the hands of Dawson, his mother and father and welcomed them to the Georgia Tech family saying, “Yeah, if you want to be (part of the family), that’s why we recruited you.”

Dawson is the 17th commit and second defensive end to commit to Tech’s 2017 singing class along with the Westminster School’s Cortez Alston.

Dawson went on an official visit to Samford during the weekend of Jan. 14 and announced on Twitter that a decision would come after his official visit to Tech on Jan. 21 and potentially another official visit the weekend of Jan. 28. However, after being recruited by cornerbacks coach Joe Speed and talking to current Yellow Jackets and with Johnson during his official visit to Tech, Dawson couldn't ignore the facts anymore.

“The players and everyone were really saying the same thing and I was like, ‘Maybe they’re for real about this,’” Dawson said. “(They all told me) that after college, that education is the most (valued) here and a Georgia Tech degree is a big thing.”

Dawson has dreams of playing in the NFL after Georgia Tech, but if those dreams don’t work out, he knows with some hard work, he could have a degree and a sound backup plan.

One of the most convincing moments during Dawson’s visit was learning training moves and skills from defensive line coach Mike Pelton that proved what a great choice Tech would be for a defensive lineman.

“(Pelton) showed me a lot of things that I had never really seen before in my high school, so I just felt like it was the right choice for me really,” Dawson said. “Coach Pelton just came in and showed me a lot of drills that if I knew about when I was playing high school ball, I probably would’ve been a lot higher ranked.”

Dawson had offers from 17 colleges including Appalachian State, Colorado State, Kentucky, Missouri, Purdue, Tulane and West Virginia, according to 247 Sports. Dawson received his offer from Tech in December.

Dawson will move to Tech’s campus after graduation in May to join his new family for football camp and his first season of college football.

“I love Atlanta and that’s where I’m from; I love my city,” Dawson said. “It just feels great and the players, they’re just really like down to earth and everybody was really just like a family.”