Patriots' Dobson makes area stop
BARBOURSVILLE -- Jim Perry had to be in football fan heaven.
The Logan resident is a Marshall University alumnus, and his favorite team happens to be the New England Patriots.
So it doesn't get much better when a Thundering Herd football standout gets drafted and signs with the Pats.
Perry came prepared to meet Aaron Dobson, a wide receiver who was drafted in the second round in April by one of the NFL's most successful franchises in the new millennium, who was signing autographs and having pictures taken with fans at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville Saturday.
In a bag, Perry had a 50th anniversary Patriot's commemorative mini-helmet, a seat from the original bleachers in Foxborough Stadium and a game-used Patriots white throw-back helmet, all for Dobson to sign.
"I've got some one-of-a-kind items," said Perry, who was one of dozens lining up before the meet-and-greet, which was scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and sponsored by Collectibles Etc.
"I think he's a good kid, I think he's a good role model and I think he's got his act together," Perry said of Dobson. The two had met before at a cancer awareness fundraiser.
Perry, a Pats fan since 1988, also thinks Dobson will thrive in the NFL lining up with future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
"They just released Brandon Lloyd, so I think he'll get a lot of looks, and maybe even a start or two," Perry said.
Some fans were even more optimistic.
"He'll be the new Randy Moss," said Austin Montieth, 13, of Huntington, who was clutching a white football embossed with a Patriots logo, ready to get some Sharpie ink from Dobson.
"I've spent some time with him before, and I have a picture and some autographs, but he's by far the best player I've ever had sign something," said 14-year-old Dakota Ferrell, also of Huntington.
Dobson, a Dunbar, W.Va. native who played high school football at South Charleston, dazzled Marshall fans for four years in Huntington.
The wide out will perhaps forever be linked to a still-frame shot of himself leaping in the air and twisting his arm around to make a one-handed touchdown grab against East Carolina in 2011. The play, simply known as "the catch" by Marshall fans, garnered national media attention and was nominated for an ESPY award by ESPN.
Dobson was not permitted to speak with reporters, media outlets were told, because the Patriots have put a ban on all players talking with the media after some gave statements regarding the arrest of tight end Aaron Hernandez on murder charges.
Hernandez was arrested in late June following the shooting death of a friend. The Patriots cut Hernandez upon his arrest.
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