Weight: 321 pounds
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Before Penn State: Nick Dawkins is the son of the late NBA legend Daryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins, who passed away in 2015.
He played high school football at Parkland, where he captained the team as a senior and won district titles as a freshman and sophomore.
Individually, Dawkins’s senior season was his best. He ended the year with 28 pancake blocks and earned Class 4A-6A Pennsylvania Lineman of the Year.
247Sports, ESPN and Rivals all had Dawkins as a three-star recruit. 247 had him as the No. 6 player in Pennsylvania from his class and ESPN ranked him No. 10. Rivals had him just outside the top 10 at No. 11.
He committed to Penn State in April 2019.
At Penn State
2020: Dawkins didn’t play in any of Penn State’s games.
2021: Dawkins played in 11 of Penn State’s 13 games, being used mainly on special teams.
2022: Dawkins redshirted, only playing in two of Penn State’s games.
Where he stands: Dawkins is expected to be the team’s backup center behind Hunter Nourzad. If Dawkins is fully healthy, he could be a solid veteran depth piece. Additionally, Nourzad is out of eligibility after 2023, so if all goes well, Dawkins should have a solid chance of being the team’s regular starter in 2024.
A quote by Dawkins: “After every year, you take a look back and think OK, what am I doing wrong?” Dawkins said. “It’s so easy to focus on the positive stuff you do. But I really had to sit back and look like, what was I doing wrong? Because I was putting in the work, but was I really getting the most out of the work I was putting in?” — Dawkins to Lions247 ahead of the 2022 season.
A quote about Dawkins: “He’s one of the strongest guys in the weight room. He’s starting to understand what it takes to be an offensive lineman. He’s always watching some of the best centers. He’s always doing extra film work.” — Offensive line coach Phil Trautwein on Dawkins at Penn State’s coach’s availability ahead of the 2022 season.