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New Pitt CB Commit Elijah Dotson Wants to Show His Instant Impact



Pitt commit Elijah Dotson.

Three hats sat on a white-clothed table before Elijah Dotson: Pitt, Michigan and Michigan State. It was time to make his college decision, and he couldn’t help but play with the crowd a little bit.

Dotson stood up, surrounded at the table by his family, in front of a crowd of his friends and supporters, and immediately grabbed the Pitt hat. He went to place it on his head before setting it aside. Instead, he reached under the table and pulled out a Pitt backpack. And when he unzipped the bag and reached inside, he pulled out a Penn State hat. Huh? A twist.

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He went to place the Penn State hat on his head but before he could, he let it drop to the ground. And as it turned out, a Pitt hat was hidden underneath.

He took off his jacket to unveil a Pitt shirt, as his family did the same, and he placed the second Pitt hat firmly on his head. He confirmed his status as the newest Pitt commit in the class of 2025.

“I’ve just been working, and God guided me in this direction, so this was my plan and it worked out how it was supposed to,” Dotson told Pittsburgh Sports Now.

Dotson — a 6-foot-2, 175-pound four-star defensive back from Belleville High in Detroit, Mich. — committed to Pitt Saturday over Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and others. He knew it was going to be the Panthers for about a month beforehand.

“They were my first offer, I have a good relationship with coach Collins, he’s from Detroit and I’m from Detroit so we’ve kind of got that connection,” Dotson said. “And the last time I visited they showed me more than just football, they showed me the school and everything.

“They’ve been on me really heavy the last two months, the whole offseason really. I have a good relationship with coach Narduzzi, so everything just felt right.”

Pitt has been in on Dotson for well over two years now. Archie Collins officially extended an offer in January of 2023, and it’s been a lasting love.

“I’d say (Collins) played the biggest role in me committing there,” Dotson said. “They put DBs in the league, you wanna look at it as more than just football, but at the end of the day, you have to look at the coach and coach Collins produces, he develops, and he really cares about his players. I talked to a lot of people — I went to the combine and talked to all the Pitt players there just trying to figure out if it was really the place for me, and coach Collins is real. I’ve heard it from everybody.”

Collins is honest, which is exactly what Dotson expects out of a coach. He’s told Dotson that when he arrives on campus, it isn’t going to be easy. Dotson will be pushed to be the best version of himself possible. And that’s what Dotson wants.

Dotson has played more safety than cornerback during his high school career, but that’s going to change this season. He wants to be a cornerback, so that’s what he’s going to play for his final season of high school ball. He could play either at the next level, but Collins sees him outside, and that’s where the best playmakers line up.

Pitt has produced defensive backs at a high level since Narduzzi took over. In that time, the Panthers have put Jordan Whitehead, Avonte Maddox, Dane Jackson, Jason Pinnock, Damar Hamlin, Damarri Mathis, Erick Hallett, Brandon Hill and M.J. Devonshire into the NFL. Dotson wants to be the next.

He’s still just a — soon-to-be — high school senior, but he knows what the Pitt coaching staff wants. He’s confident he can be what the coaching staff wants.

“They’re real aggressive on the defense, they’re real physical and I feel like that’s my play style,” Dotson said. “They’re gonna make plays and I feel like they’re gonna put me in a position to make those plays. They kind of got an old school mentality, coach Narduzzi, they play old school football and that’s kind of my vibe. I’m an old school player, I love hitting, I love being physical and of course, I love making plays.”

Dotson did a lot of everything during his junior season at the University of Detroit Jesuit High, racking up 43 receptions, 1,653 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns — adding 66 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups. And he feels like Collins will be able to help elevate his game.

He’s going to start off at defensive back. Dotson has the chance to be a legitimate cornerback, but he’s not he’s not limited to one side of the ball either.

“Obviously I want to start off learning the playbook and my biggest thing is playing defense,” Dotson said. “So, my freshman year, I’m coming in and learning the playbook. I’m gonna start off really just playing DB so I can learn the playbook, get comfortable and really perfect my craft and they said that’s an option if — you gotta dominate on side of the ball before you can play the other. So, if I go there and dominate on defense, okay, I got a chance to go on offense if that’s what I want to do.”

Dotson said that he’s a dog. He’s, as Narduzzi would say, a football player. And if nothing else, Pitt fans are going to be shocked when he arrives on campus next year.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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29 days ago

H2P. Good work guys. Let’s keep the momentum going!

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