Antonio Dawkins is a 2019 NFL Prospect from Bluefield college. Bluefield is a small school from Bluefield, Virginia but prior to the transfer, Dawkins was a member of the North Carolina Central football program. Because of the success Dawkins was able to find on the field, he has been gaining recognition from scouts in both the NFL and CFL.
Dawkins grew up in Shelby, North Carolina and attended Fort Mill High School.
I decided to ask Dawkins about his hardest transition from North Carolina Central to Bluefield. His responses did not surprise me because he said, “The size. NC Central is a much bigger school but as far as football it’s no different.” Which makes sense if you think about it. Dawkins transferred from NC Central which has just over 9,000 enrolled students compared to Bluefield which has just under 1,000 students enrolled.
But Dawkins didn’t mind the populations at the school because all he truly cared about was playing football.
Dawkins is a top defensive back in college football, so I decided to ask him what his biggest focus has been this offseason to further separate himself from other collegiate defensive backs.
Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a big thing for all kinds of athletes and that is exactly what Dawkins focused on this offseason. Dawkins also mentioned that he has started taking yoga and Pilates lessons this summer to help strengthen body control. One specific answer Dawkins gave really set himself apart as an athlete, Dawkins mentioned that everything can have speed but you have to be able to control it. Dawkins is so in tune with the game, that he believe focusing on the mechanics such as body control really set himself apart from other defensive backs.
Dawkins had an outstanding season in 2017 as he recorded 27 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 7 pass deflections, 1 interceptions returned for a touchdown and one forced fumble. Dawkins managed to lead the team in pass breakups in only eight games played in 2017. Now if you think that is impressive, Dawkins allowed the fewest number of passes (13) in the nation and also was the leader on the Bluefield defense that ranked #1 against the pass.
Bluefield ranked within the Top 10 in at least 5 or more categories in the nation defensively.
Having a successful career at NC Central really set the tone for Dawkins which not only lead the his success at Bluefield but also gave scouts in both the NFL and CFL to hear about him and watch his film throughout his collegiate career. That experience alone at NC Central would be one he would never forget.
Dawkins mentioned the experience with me and said, “NC Central really gave me a different outlook on football. Coaches like Coach Devaughn who believed in me from the jump, made me want to go harder. Coaches like him pushed me during my stint at NC Central and that hard work is instilled in me.” Dawkins also went on to mention that his teammates Alden McClellon and Fred Ajudua brought out a certain kind of animal instinct anytime they gave him advice.
With Antonio Dawkins being an NFL prospect, I asked what sort of advice would he give to the younger generation that look to pursue a career as a professional athlete and his response was amazing.
Dawkins said, “My advice to all young athletes would be focus on grades first. Without those grades you’re not going anywhere. Also play multiple sports coming up. College coaches love multiple sport athletes.
So far Dawkins has totaled 58 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 15 pass deflections, 3 interceptions and two forced fumbles in his collegiate career.
Dawkins has been an outstanding player so far in college and as he prepares for his final season at Bluefield, watch out for this young man as he looks to take on the world by storm. Dawkins intends to enter the 2019 NFL draft!