JaJuan Dawson, one of the most prolific football players in Tulane history, is missing after falling into a lake near Dallas on Sunday night.
Authorities in Wylie, Texas, said Dawson, who’s from Houston, fell out of a rented boat during a family outing.
The Collin County Sheriff’s Office said Dawson, 37, wasn’t wearing a lifejacket when he fell into Lavon Lake, near Wylie. Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Havey said it’s unclear why Dawson fell overboard, but alcohol wasn’t considered a factor. Havey said murky waters were hindering the search.
Dawson is the second-leading receiver in Green Wave history and was a key member of the most successful team in school history — the 1998 team that went 12-0, won the Liberty Bowl and finished No. 7 in the AP poll.
His 16 receptions against SMU during his senior season in 1999 are the most in Tulane history, and he also set a school record that season with 96 receptions. His five consecutive 100-yard receiving games in 1999 are a school record.
Dawson’s 234 career receptions are two short of Marc Zeno’s school record. He also ranks second with 31 career touchdown receptions, including a team-high 12 in 1998. He ranks third with 3,048 career receiving yards, and his career average of 5.7 receptions per games are a Green Wave record.
The Cleveland Browns selected Dawson in the third round of the 2000 NFL draft, and he played two seasons with them. He spent the 2002 season with the Houston Texans and finished with 52 catches for 664 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL career.
Dawson was inducted to the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. Three years later, the 1998 team was inducted as a group.