The Pittsburgh Steelers selected fourth-round draft pick Kevin Dotson 135th overall during the 2020 NFL Draft. Dotson attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and will now join the roster in Pittsburgh.
Making His Dad Proud
Dotson was born in West Point, Mississippi, but grew up in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
During his time in high school, Dotson’s mother passed away unexpectedly. He was left with his father, Kelcy, and twin brother, Kenny.
Kelcy Dotson was an outside linebacker at Louisiana in the mid-1990s. His background in football gave him the skills necessary to raise two successful football players in Kevin and Kenny.
“He was a big factor in a lot of stuff — the reason I do stuff, the reason I am the way I am,” Kevin Dotson said in reference to his father.
At Plaquemine High School, Dotson played in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Game. He was also a three-time all-district selection.
Plaquemine head coach Paul Distefano knows there is more to Dotson than just being a good football player.
“Good personality, good kid, hard worker, good leader. Everything,” Distefano added. “All the intangibles. And of course, the tangibles worked out for him pretty good too.”
Carrying on the Legacy at Louisiana
Dotson knew he had a lot to live up to in order to continue what his father had started at Louisiana.
As a redshirt freshman in 2016, Dotson was named the starting right guard in the second game of the season.
During his redshirt sophomore season, he was named Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference. He started in all 12 games that year. In 2018, Dotson was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference.
Dotson’s strongest season didn’t come until he was a redshirt senior.
In 2019, the Associated Press, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Focus (PFF) named him a First Team All-American. That year, he was part of an offensive line that ranked fifth nationally and first in the Sun Belt in sacks allowed (1.07).
Louisiana head coach Billy Napier reflected on Dotson’s time as a Ragin’ Cajun during an interview with the media.
“Kevin Dotson exemplified how important leadership and character are within a football program during his time with the Ragin’ Cajuns,” Napier said. “His teammates looked to him on a daily basis to set the standard, and Kevin always delivered. The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting a tremendous football player, and they’ve also just added an outstanding leader to their organization.”
Draft Pick Kevin Dotson Should Make a Big Impact
Dotson, who grew up a fan of the Steelers, has the opportunity to be a game-changer for a struggling offense.
“It’s crazy,” Dotson said. “They chose me out of all of the guards they could have chosen, they chose me, the team I always wanted to go to.”
Kevin Dotson said he followed the @steelers since he was five years old. He said @JeromeBettis36 was his favorite player and all of his passwords used to have '36' at the end. Also said the family has a @steelers mancave. #SteelersDraft
— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) April 25, 2020
When Dotson didn’t get an invite to the 2020 NFL Combine, he knew he wouldn’t be a well-known player going into the draft. Luckily, Steelers’ fans didn’t seem to care.
“I didn’t have as much hype as I wanted going into the draft, but the way Steelers Nation has talked to me I feel like I am an All-Pro already and I haven’t done anything,” Dotson said. “Having this support is a boost for my confidence.”
Dotson hopes he can be the player to fill the spot of former Steelers’ left guard Ramon Foster, who recently retired.
“I’m gonna make a name for myself,” Dotson told Draft Wire. “A lot of people don’t really know any offensive linemen. It’s a position that doesn’t come with any shine. I wanna be a name brand. I want people to say that Kevin Dotson is playing great football.”