Dawson becomes the fourth Savage in the past four seasons to be selected for the contest. The game will take place on Friday, January 7, 2006, at Javelina Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Approximately 60 professional football scouts are expected to attend the game as well as practice and scouting sessions, beginning on January 1. Twenty-five of the players that participated in last year's game signed NFL contracts.
Dawson, a 6-3, 205-pound native of Boynton Beach, Fla., tallied 266 total tackles (139 solo), 18.5 tackles for losses, nine sacks and six interceptions during his four seasons at the Southeastern.
As a senior, Dawson was named the Defensive Back of the Year in the Lone Star Conference.
He was named First Team All-LSC North Division for the 2005, 2004 and 2003 seasons. As a redshirt freshman, Dawson was named Second Team All-LSC North.
Dawson is one of just 14 student-athletes from the LSC to be chosen to the Cactus Bowl's 42-man West Team. Others from the LSC are: Derrick Ross (RB, Tarleton); Derrick Hunter (WR, Eastern New Mexico); Derrick Hargrove (TE, East Central); Chad Skidmore (OG, Tarleton); DeJuan Skinner (OT, West Texas A&M); Jason Brittian (S, Angelo State); Jerome Jefferson (S, Midwestern State); Corey White (C, Eastern New Mexico); Bernard Moore (C, Central Oklahoma); Deandrae Fillmore (LB, Texas A&M-Kingsville); Clayton Ferrell (DT, Abilene Christian); Wilbert Martin (DT, Texas A&M-Kingsville); and, Marcel Moses (DT, Midwestern State).
Other recent SOSU football players selected to compete in the Cactus Bowl were center Joe Jones in 2000, defensive back Dexter Daniels last season in 2002 and wide receiver Romar Crenshaw in 2004.
The 2005 Savages ended the season with an 8-2 record and closed out the season as back-to-back LSC North Division champions, winning their third league title in seven years.
The 2006 Cactus Bowl will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Southwest. Game time is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (Central).