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FORT WORTH(CBS11 Sports) – As he sat in the stands with his parents at TCU, Paul Dawson could only reflect on how fortunate he is to be a positive example for youth in North Texas.

Growing up in Dallas and playing football at Skyline High School, who knew he would end his career as a Horned Frog by being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and getting drafted in the 3rd round of this year’s NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals?

Two people.  His mom and dad.

His dad, Paul Dawson Sr., told a story of how Paul was destined for greatness on the field. In fact, as a kid, he had to stop playing in the house because all the furniture kept getting broken.

His mom, Terrie Brooks, says her son is a reflection of hard work paying off that all young kids can strive for, no matter their current circumstances.

Paul and family had a brief chance to chat with TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson, who told him his motto should be “understate…over-play”. In other words, be humble in your words, and let your play do the talking. While that registers for the hard hitting linebacker, he still has a message for future opponents…”run the other way”.

Paul Dawson leaves for the Cincinnati Bengals’ rookie mini camp Thursday. His life as a pro football player awaits, but he’ll never forget those who made his journey from Dallas to the NFL possible.

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