Crimson rushing prodigy Clifton Dawson hopes to play in the NFL.
Crimson rushing prodigy Clifton Dawson hopes to play in the NFL.

15 Questions with Clifton Dawson

1. Fifteen Minutes: Congratulations on your impressive record. Tell me, Clifton, how did it feel to be so sweet on
By Merav D. Silverman


Fifteen Minutes: Congratulations on your impressive record. Tell me, Clifton, how did it feel to be so sweet on Saturday?

Clifton G. Dawson ’07: It was sort of bittersweet. It’s nice to put the record behind me, it was sort of lingering for a while. It was a big deal for me and for the team.


FM: The Game is creeping ever closer. On a scale of 1 to totally pumped, how are you feeling about the game on Saturday?

CD: Totally pumped. I am a “10” right now. I am quickly realizing that it is my final game here. I try not to think about it, but I really have to think about it.


FM: This will be your fourth and last go at Harvard-Yale...does it feel different this time?

CD: It does feel a little different because it is my last game. Being able to close up my career with a victory and then having never lost to Yale, that would mean so much to me and all the team.


FM: How many of me can you bench?

CD: Hahah. I love that this is like a really different interview than I am used to—I am used to always talking to sports people. How much do you weigh? You probably weigh what, like 100 pounds? I can probably bench like three and a half of, four.


FM: The students are enraged about the new tailgate policies at the game. Are you pissed? Do you give a shit?

CD: You know I feel bad for the student body. I think when people are happy you can really feel it. All we can focus on though is winning the football game. We want everyone that comes out to have a really good time, and hopefully they can still come to the game.


FM: Your parents are reported to have tried to persuade you not to switch to Harvard. Have they come around to your deplorable decision?

CD: Definitely. You know, my mom pleaded with me, she cried, she didn’t want me to leave Northwestern ’cause it was great...My mom is happy everyday that I came here. She is as in love with Harvard as I am.


FM: Any big plans for the rest of your time here at Harvard?

CD: Try and enjoy, my days are numbered. It’s something you sort of realize when you are a senior. Just sort of enjoying my senior year. Just, you know, just go out with a bang.


FM: And plans for the future, post-graduation?

CD: Play in the NFL. That is my goal.


FM: Yale wanted to recruit you while you were still in high school. Why didn’t you take them up on the offer?

CD: Yale is Yale. No. I really feel that there is something really special about Harvard. Yale is obviously—probably—a good place too. I just didn’t feel the same way about Yale.


FM: Hypothetically we win on Saturday, what are your post-game plans?

CD: I have a lot of friends coming down from Toronto. And I am going to throw a big party in Leverett; everyone is invited.


FM: And clearly this will not happen, but suppose we lose—then what?

CD: Then I throw a huge party in Leverett. Everyone is invited.


FM: How do you manage all of the work during football season?

CD: You know, it’s definitely a struggle at times. I take a lot of responsibility in how the team turns out, so I definitely have to put a lot of time and effort into that. If I have to miss a lecture or class or something like that, being a football player.


FM: Have you taken Dinosaurs?

CD: I did take Dinosaurs. And that was kinda cool.


FM: What does it feel like to see a gigantic photo of yourself every time you enter the gym?

CD: The first time I saw it, it was a bit of a shock. They didn’t tell me about it. And its kind of fun to walk by past it and think you are on the wall of a building. That’s probably something that will never happen again. Very few people can say that.


FM: Do people bug you? What if I asked for your autograph?

CD: I wouldn’t be creeped out. That happens a lot actually. Its kind of funny. Do you know who Edward Lee is? He said if I broke the record I could sign his Harvard-Yale ticket. People ask me pretty frequently to sign their tickets. That’s a fun part of all of this, of being a player. I am definitely going to miss that.