For Belfry offensive tackle and University of Kentucky recruit Austin Dotson, the person that ignited his aspiration of earning a UK football scholarship was a player who went from the Pike County high school to UK before him.
“Ever since I was little, I grew up hearing about David Jones,” Dotson says. “I always thought he was the biggest superstar ever. He went to Kentucky and he was a Belfry guy.”
Jones’ most famous moment in a UK uniform came in his final game. In the Liberty Bowl that ended Kentucky’s 2008 season, he returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to help ignite a Wildcats rally from a 16-3 halftime deficit to a 25-19 victory over East Carolina.
Dotson was 7 years old at the time.
“I was watching the game on TV,” he says. “I watched (Jones’ kickoff return TD) happen.”
Early in Dotson’s career playing for Coach Philip Haywood at Belfry, Jones was back at his high school alma mater helping out as an assistant coach.
“He was coaching me, and he and I were just talking and I was like, ‘I would love to go to Kentucky and play football,’” Dotson says. “Ever since my freshman year, he really took me under his wing and really helped me out a lot.”
“I feel like he wasn’t even a coach, he was like family to me,” Dotson says of Jones. “He still is to this day.”