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Saturday, October 22, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Lake Dawson On The Map In K.C. -- Receiver From Federal Way May Become Local Landmark

Lake Dawson is back, just in time to impress the people back home.

Dawson, the former Notre Dame star who calls Federal Way home, will be Kansas City's No. 3 wide receiver tomorrow when the Seahawks visit Arrowhead Stadium.

It will be his first game since he suffered a shoulder injury in a padless practice Sept. 23; he has missed three games.

"I'm very excited about playing this weekend, not only because it's Seattle, but to just get back on the field," he said.

Dawson, a rookie, caught five passes in the three games before his injury and played on most special teams. He leads his team with an average of 24.4 yards per catch.

Lack of sprinter speed left Dawson available into the third round of this year's draft, where K.C. was eagerly waiting. He may not be an Olympic sprinter, but he has what coaches call "good football speed."

"He's one of those guys who if you time him at 4.6 in the 40 on artificial turf indoors, and then you put him on a field with full pads on, he's still going to run 4.6," said Coach Marty Schottenheimer.

The selection of Dawson began to pay immediate dividends the past summer. He scored on a 52-yard reverse against Houston in the exhibition opener and made other big plays in August.

"I think he's going to be a great one," Kansas City quarterback Joe Montana said this week.

Montana, like Dawson and Seahawk quarterback Rick Mirer a Notre Dame alum, played an indirect and inadvertent role in Dawson's joining Kansas City. The draft pick used to select Dawson came from the Montana trade with San Francisco.

Dawson said it was an experience to go into the huddle early in training camp.

"I looked at my left and there was Marcus Allen," he said. "I looked at my right and there was Joe Montana. These were some of the people I had watched for years and years and admired."

Dawson wears No. 80, which happens to be the number of Jerry Rice, the 49er receiver he has studied for years. He made a special point of meeting Rice after K.C. beat the 49ers 24-17 in Week 2.

Dawson was a favorite target of Mirer's at Notre Dame, where he finished seventh on the Irish all-time list with 80 catches. He averaged an impressive 17.5 yards a catch.

"He works real hard and he goes all out," Mirer said. "He's a great kind of guy to throw to because he'll dive and he'll fight and he'll do it all.

"He's a great person, one of the best guys you'll ever meet."

Dawson graduated with a degree in telecommunications. Before he graduated, Notre Dame thought enough of him to make him the school's representative on an NCAA panel of college presidents, administrators and coaches studying a possible football playoff system.

The Washington Huskies finished second in the 1990 recruiting derby for Dawson, who was all-state at Federal Way High School.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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