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A pure running back with outstanding speed, power and quickness, Dawson played for Brunswick High for two seasons during the mid-1970s. He teamed with Gary Shavers to give the Pirates a strong one-two backfield combo, which helped the 1974 BHS team become the
first one to beat Glynn Academy, winning 40-19.


Against Glynn, Dawson rushed for 155 yards on 23 carries, which enabled him to become the first BHS running back to run for 1,000-plus yards in a season and first Glynn County runner to do so in 10 years. He finished the year with 1,016 yards rushing for a 6.2 yards per carry average while scoring 11 touchdowns.


As a senior, Dawson rushed for 977 yards on 187 carries for a 5.2 yards per carry average, while scoring eight touchdowns. In his two years at Brunswick High, Dawson rushed for
1,993 yards on 352 carries for a 5.7 yards per carry average while scoring 19 touchdowns.


An all-round good athlete, Dawson also participated in both basketball and track in high school. In track, he competed in both the 100-yard sprint, where he ran a 10.0 second 100- meter, and the high jump, where he had a best jump of 5 feet, 8 inches. In basketball, Kenny started for two years, averaging 9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a junior and 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a senior.


After high school, Dawson signed a football scholarship with a junior college in Oklahoma. After a year there, Frank Ellis, then the head coach at Savannah State, convinced him to
come back home and play for the Tigers. He went on to become a two-time all-conference player at Savannah State, where he played from 1978-80. After rushing for 361 yards as a sophomore, Dawson came into his own as a junior, rushing for 900 yards on 211 attempts, along with 58 yards receiving. His best year was his senior season in 1980 when he ran for
974 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.


The 13 touchdowns are still third all-time among Savannah State running backs in a single season. He also had 124 yards receiving as a senior. All total, Dawson rushed for 2,235 yards and scored 19 touchdowns in his three years at Savannah State.


He was drafted in the 10th round of the 1981 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks as the 252nd player chosen that year, becoming the first Savannah State player ever chosen in the draft. After agreeing to a series of contracts with the Seahawks covering his services through the 1983 season, Dawson was forced to retire with a shoulder injury before he ever played a down in the NFL.

Dawson passed away on January 22, 2018.

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