UK Football

Ex-Cat David Jones inspired Austin Dotson’s dream of playing for UK

Belfry offensive tackle and Kentucky Wildcats football commit Austin Dotson, far left, credits former University of Kentucky and Belfry player David Jones with inspiring the dream of earning a scholarship to play at UK.
Belfry offensive tackle and Kentucky Wildcats football commit Austin Dotson, far left, credits former University of Kentucky and Belfry player David Jones with inspiring the dream of earning a scholarship to play at UK. Williamson Daily News

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.

David Jones was a star running back at Belfry early in the 21st century, then lettered for four years (2005-08) as a defensive back/wide receiver/kick returner for Rich Brooks at UK.

“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.”

Having taken the head coaching job at Phelps, Jones was not at Belfry this past season as Dotson, now 6-foot-8, 310 pounds, played his senior year as a commit to Mark Stoops and UK.

“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.”

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