North Texas player found dead

March 28, 2009 7:20:29 AM PDT
Police in this Dallas suburb were investigating the death of a University of North Texas football player who was scheduled to graduate in the spring. The body of defensive back/linebacker Germaine Lance Dawson, 21, who played four years for the Mean Green, was found in a white SUV near a Lewisville auto repair business. Dawson, who suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, had been missing since Thursday.

Former North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey said Dawson was a great kid who earned a scholarship at the Denton school.

"He was always smiling and a pleasure to be around," Dickey said. "He took care of his business and worked hard. It's real tragic when something like that happens."

Police called the death "suspicious," according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. No weapons were found in the vehicle, and police would not say if there were signs of a struggle.

"We're still trying to talk to friends and family to find out what was going on in his life before this happened," Lewisville police Capt. Kevin Deaver said.

Dawson's girlfriend reported him missing shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, Denton police spokesman Ryan Grelle said. She said he went to Dallas on Wednesday night and never returned.

Lewisville police received a call early Friday that someone appeared to be sleeping in a vehicle near an auto repair. The SUV had been parked there a couple of days, police said, and Dawson was found in the driver's seat.

Dawson was from Rockdale, northeast of Austin. He began attending North Texas in fall 2005, majoring in applied arts and science.

He played defensive back/linebacker for the Mean Green, starting the first 11 games of the 2006 season and playing in 12. Dawson finished third on the team with 54 tackles.

He played in 11 games as a backup in 2007 and one game in 2008.

Dawson's friends and former teammates were stunned by the death.

"He walked on his freshman year, and you could tell right away he had a burning desire to play football and made sure the coaches knew it," said former North Texas linebacker Colt Mahan. "He played the first game our freshman season on special teams. The coaches put him on scholarship before our first game."

Free counseling was available on the North Texas campus, and the campus chapel was open this weekend for quiet reflection, said Buddy Price, manager of the university's news service.

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