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September 09, 1991 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-09

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Page 6-The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday-September 9, 1991

Continued from page 1
playing time has gradually increased
to a leadership role in the defensive
"My first play, that would be
kickoff in the Notre Dame game of
the 1988-89 season," Dottin
recalled. "I just went down on a
kickoff and didn't tackle nobody. I
got blocked. I remember that."
His first couple of years as a
Wolverine he spent most of the
time pacing the sidelines, studying
the action while saying, "If I was in
there, this is what I would have
Last year, he finally got his
chance to react on the field. Dottin
started all 11 games at the weak
cornerback position. He was the
youngest of a highly-touted
defensive backfield that included
Tripp Welborne, Vada Murray and
David Key. But with the recognition
came higher expectations. Near the
end, there was a lot of complaining
about missed tackles.
"No one wants to have the
negative criticism over their head

anymore for Michigan not being
aggressive or Michigan not
tackling," Dottin said. "Last year, it
was really bad taking that criticism
like that as far as I can remember.
"We can't allow teams in the
fourth quarter just to walk down
the field on us. We've got to go hard
every single play, every single
series, we've got to play hard."
But amid criticism of the
backfield, Dottin had an outstanding
year. He made 53 tackles and led the
team with five interceptions.
The burden of leadership in the
backfield is now on Dottin's
shoulders. It is something he
"I like to think I was a leader
last year," Dottin said. "I've got to
lead and be an example to the rest of
the young guys to show them what
it's all about winning the
"Lance Dottin has got to play
better than he did last year,"
Michigan coach Gary Moeller said.
"He's the only guy who played all
of last year that's returning.
"I think our secondary will be a
little better in some ways. The only
potential weakness that I can see is

if somebody makes a big mistake
because of inexperience," Moeller
It is an odd twist that Dottin is
now recognized for athletic ability
on the football field and not the
basketball court. Dottin grew up on
Early in grade school he played
so much that he began to lag behind
in math. His mother had to design a
basketball game consisting of math
problems so he and his friends
would study.
"We would put the problems
into the basketball net," Georgina
Dottin said. "They would have
miniature basketballs with the
answers on them. You wouldn't
believe how they liked to make
points. All of the sudden their math
started picking up like crazy."
In high school, his passion for
basketball continued. He played
regularly with Robinson and
eventually formed a relationship
with Patrick Ewing. The much
taller Ewing, now with the New
York Knicks, was a few years ahead
of Dottin at Rindge & Latin High

School. Nevertheless, the 6-foot-3,
196-pound Dottin held his own on
the hardwood.
Dottin had several scholarship
offers to play basketball. He was
named a Converse all-American and
a McDonald's preseason all-
American. But when it came time to
pick a sport, his first love was
"I said to myself, 'Well what do
you want to do in the long run,
Lance,"' Dottin said. "I've been
playing football as long as I can
remember. I probably love football
a little bit more."
He was recruited heavily by
Boston College, but after some
deliberation he felt more
comfortable with the Michigan
coaching staff. It only took one
recruiting trip to Ann Arbor before
he said, "Mom, I'm going to
His family didn't mind; it has
meant trips to the Rose Bowl and
the Gator Bowl.
And this weekend, for Lance
Dottin, it meant a trip home.


Dottin put on quite a show for his relatives in attendance Saturday.

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