Looking through the record books of ULM one name stands out atop several categories. Running back Calvin Dawson entered the then Indian program in 2004 from Airline High in Bossier City, La. and in just four seasons would go on to break the career rushing mark set by another one of the school's great backs, Roosevelt Potts.
"It was a great time, there are still things that I wish I could've accomplished, but overall it was great," Dawson said. "Pretty much I just played the same game that I did growing up. I really enjoyed the whole college experience, the coaches, the fans; it really didn't seem like it went by as fast as it did, but that's life for ya."
While his career got off to a slow start, managing just 98 yards his freshman season, changes to the running back position saw him propelled to more of a starting role with the transition of Kevin Payne to safety and reoccurring injuries to Mason Denham. It was not until his junior season though that he finally seemed to find his groove that saw him break the career touchdown record with his 30th. During the 2006 season he rushed for over 1,200 yards, becoming the first to break the 1,000 yard mark since Bryant Jacobs did in 2002. In addition to these feats, he also began a string of 10 straight 100-yard performances, ending his career with 18 in total.
Despite all of this records, it is one game his senior season that Dawson says highlighted his ULM career, the 2007 21-14 win over perennial powerhouse Alabama.
"That was really the highlight of my career," he said. "We were a hard working team, and that game showed what we could accomplish if we were a consistent team. That game though was the result of a lot of hard work."
Following his career at ULM, Dawson was primed to continue his football career at the next level, receiving an invite to the NFL combine. While there though a routine physical examination discovered that a herniated disc in his neck would keep him from competing any further.
"I tried the football career after my surgery, but it just didn't work out so now I'm in Dallas and trying to find a career to do for the rest of my life," Dawson said.
While his immediate future is still unclear, one thing that he does have planned for the near future is a trip back to Malone Stadium this fall to take in a Warhawk game. While he has not been able to make it back to Monroe for various reasons, he does keep in touch with his former teammates and is sure to always check for the latest ULM scores.
"I keep up with several of my former teammates via Facebook," he said. "We are trying to do a mini-reunion this season for a game. We are all wanting to get together and enjoy a game and talk about how much better we were and how we would do things on the field."
Dawson's name could be moving from the top spot on the career rushing record next season though. Current Warhawk junior Jyruss Edwards is already 288 yards ahead of the pace established by Dawson, but still another 2,336 away from the record.