Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Patriots rookie CB Duke Dawson's role model is his 'godbrother,' who used to play for Packers

Ryan Hannable
May 15, 2018 - 2:08 pm

FOXBORO -- Every NFL player has someone they looked up to growing up, but for Patriots second-round pick Duke Dawson, his is very unique.

“My biggest role model coming up was my godbrother Nick Collins, who played for Green Bay,” Dawson said when speaking Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. “Just being able to see him play the game of football at a high level. The love and the passion that he had, that kind of drove me a little bit more, as well.” 

The two are from Cross City, Florida, which is a small town, so they are the only two players from there to play in the NFL.

Collins played seven seasons with the Packers from 2005-11 and was named to the Pro Bowl three times, but saw his career get cut short because of a neck injury.

“I always looked up to him,” Dawson said. “We talk a lot. He gave me a lot of advice, and I’m just coming in [to the Patriots] with open ears.” 

Dawson has experience all over the secondary having played safety at the beginning of his career at Florida and then making the transition to cornerback.

With the loss of Malcolm Butler via free agency, there's an opportunity for Dawson to get some playing time as a rookie, perhaps as the No. 3 cornerback, but he knows it's not going to be handed to him.

“Just going out and just competing every day, trying to improve myself – like I said, learning from the coaches and the veterans," Dawson said. "That’s always how I’ve been when I first went into college, just going in and trying to learn everything with open ears.”

“Everything is earned,” he added. “It’s not given. You’ve got to come in and earn everything.” 

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