Q: How did you end up playing on opposite sides of the ball?
Dawson: Well, I’ve been on offense my whole life. I’ve played quarterback, a little receiver, so I’ve had no type of defensive background. And when I got here, I just walked on as a tight end because I already knew how to run routes, but I had to learn how to block. If I was to do anything on defense, I would have no idea what I was doing.
Luke: For me, I played offense pretty much my whole life, too, up until my senior year. I played a little DB before that, but I was mainly an offensive guy — that’s where I got most of my reps. But senior year they put me at linebacker just to see how I would do, and I did pretty well. So I just grew to love that more than tight end. I thought I was going to play tight end in college just like Dawson, but I started to love playing defense and was better at it.
Q: What brought you to Ole Miss?
Luke: Really it was just him. Like, before Dawson came here, I didn’t have much connection to Ole Miss, at all. Since he came here, I’ve been a huge fan, and that’s one of (the) biggest reasons (that) I came here — just that he was here. I’ve got about three other guys on this team that went to my high school, so that played a part in it, too.
Dawson: Yeah, I really had no idea about Ole Miss before my first visit here. I came to a game once during my sophomore year of high school with a friend who was a Texas fan. Texas was playing down here, so I was actually wearing his Texas gear and supporting (its) team. That was the first exposure I had to Ole Miss. Then once I visited, I just fell in love with everything, and it was over from there.
Q: Obviously, you both have always had to be competitive to be football players, but who was more competitive growing up? Who won more?
Dawson: We used to always play NCAA (football video games) when we were growing up and we would get real competitive with that. I’m sure there’s still a couple holes in the drywall.
Luke: Most of those were probably my fault.
Dawson: But I’d say it was pretty split for the most part unless it became physical. I was always bigger just because I was older so I liked to be able to show my dominance.
Luke: We would play like one minute games in the backyard where we would countdown a minute for basketball one on one. Those were pretty split but I think he had the advantage just because of his size, but we were always playing games growing up, just anything competitive really.
Q: Dawson: Being the older one, you obviously probably beat up on Luke a fair bit. But were you ever protective over him from other people?
Dawson: Yeah, it was always sort of like, ‘I can mess with him all I want,’ but as soon as someone else from outside of the family starts messing with him, I’d get protective. Like, if he got in a fight with somebody in camp, I’d definitely take his side, but I mainly take him under my wing for the most part, because he’s always been able to stand up for himself.
Luke: I’d choose his side if it came down to it, but nobody really messed with him. (I) haven’t really had to do that.
Q: What has been the defining moment in your career to this point?
Dawson: Well, the moment I knew I could play here was probably in the Auburn game when I made my first big catch and turned upfield for a first down. That was kind of when it clicked with me that I could compete at this level and really contribute to the team.
Luke: I’d agree with him. I was at that game and I remember seeing that and just being sort of surprised like, ‘wow that’s my brother making that play,’ but for me I’d definitely say just my whole senior year. I mean I was a late bloomer like him so up until my senior year I didn’t get many reps, and so I guess I just tried to do what I could do my senior year and surprise myself and surprise other people.
Dawson: It was his first year on defense in his senior year of high school and he led the team in sacks, tackles, tackles for losses, like a bunch of stats in his first year and that’s when I knew he could compete here.
Q: Who got in more trouble growing up?
Dawson: I don’t know. Well, I would get in trouble more often, but when he got in trouble it would be worse.
Luke: Yeah, he would do a lot more little things, but when I got caught it was bad.
Q: Favorite band?
Luke: Zac Brown Band. I knew Dawson would be slow, so I had to just get mine in quick.
Dawson: Well, I like a lot of different types of music, but the Zac Brown Band would have to be up there for me, too.
Q: Favorite sport other than football?
Q: Favorite video game?
Luke: College football, NCAA 14, the last one.
Dawson: Yeah, he was really more into the video games. I played all the sports games but I mean I still haven’t gotten into Fortnite.
Luke: Modern Warfare 2 also.
Q: Favorite athlete of all time?
Dawson: I love watching Tebow play and just everything he stands for, Christianity-wise … just the way he played on the field was awesome.
Luke: I grew up a big Steelers fan, so I’m just going to go with Ben Roethlisberger.