FSU received a huge boost on Saturday when FAU cornerback Meiko Dotson announced he was transferring to play for the Florida State Seminoles for his final year. Everyone’s heard about his nine interceptions, most in the country last season. But what else does Dotson bring to the table? We break his game film down below:
Nine interceptions? How does a defensive back go about having that many interceptions in one season? Let’s take a look at Dotson’s game, and the skills that aided him in achieving his NCAA-leading INT total.
Tracking the ball and finishing
Is Dotson playing WR and running a go route? No, but it sure looks like he is. Let’s start with the alignment on the play. It is common for a field corner to align in off coverage. Clearly, Dotson knows something is awry as he is bailing early in man coverage. As you watch the action unfolding at the bottom of the screen you see the WR attempt an inside stem hoping to get Dotson (an aggressive DB) to bite but he accurately reads, tracks the go route, and finishes the play with a nice catch. These are veteran skills that should play well in the Florida State secondary.
Something that FSU has lacked in recent years (partly due to teaching) is a talented zone corner. Recall in the national title game PJ Williams peeling off in zone and picking off Nick Marshall? It was a turning point play in that game and something you need your corners to be able to do.
Let’s touch on alignment first. You’ll notice Dotson is in press technique to the field which hints at some type of zone coverage. Dotson zone shuffles out getting a piece of the WR in front of him. It appears as though he is playing cover 2 on this play. As the QB is rolling towards him he tracks the QB’s eyes and sinks back as he has nothing holding him underneath. Diagnosing a play is something that comes with time and Dotson diagnoses the #1 and #2 WR going in so he knows that #3 has to be coming out. He gets depth and baits the QB into a bad throw and INT.
The second part of this play that Seminole fans have to love is Dotson’s ability to turn an INT into points. This is just a talented player making plays when he gets the ball in his hands. Defensive scores are game changing plays and Dotson has a knack for it. This is another instance of Dotson being able to finish a catch and then turn it into a punt return situation.
Dotson will join a crowded defensive back room, but should still challenge for a starting role. He’ll bring much needed experience and leadership to the secondary.