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Dobson visits with fans

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

CROSS LANES, W.Va. -- With less than a week to go before the NFL Draft, South Charleston native and former Marshall University football wide receiver Aaron Dobson took some time out for fans Saturday before his life changes forever.

Dobson is projected as a solid second-round pick, and said he enjoyed taking some time to sign autographs and take photos with fans at Collectibles Etc. in Cross Lanes after all of the traveling and pro workouts and before the madness of the draft, which begins Thursday, April 25.

"I always like to give back to the people who have supported me for so long and watched me at Marshall and South Charleston. A lot of people have been watching me for a long time and it's just an amazing feeling," Dobson said. "It's definitely an exciting thing. It's crazy to think that there are little kids who look up to me and people who want my autograph. I feel really blessed."

Dobson signed plenty of footballs and mini-helmets, and posed for a few pictures, but his eyes lit up just a bit when Chris Shearer, of Milton, unrolled a three-panel photo mounting and asked Dobson to sign in the middle.

It was a progression of three photos capturing what Thundering Herd fans refer to simply as "The Catch," a one-handed, arm twisting touchdown grab Dobson made against East Carolina at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in 2011.

The play stayed in ESPN's rotation of top highlights for weeks, and was nominated for an ESPN ESPY award.

"Now that's what I'm talking about," Dobson said softly as he unfolded Shearer's photo mounting.

Shearer, a Marshall graduate, said he was thrilled to get to meet Dobson.

"It's pretty awesome," Shearer said. "There's good things ahead for him. I really expect him to have a nice long NFL career and represent the state of West Virginia and make Marshall proud."

Chris Venoy, another fan on hand, said he hopes Dobson will go to his favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That's a sentiment Dobson's heard a lot over the past few months, with so many Mountain State residents supporting Pittsburgh.

"I've actually talked to (the team), so I guess it's a possibility I could end up there," Dobson said with a smile. "I've got a couple of friends who are Steelers fans. I'd enjoy it. It'd be nice to play in Pittsburgh."

Collectibles Inc. frequently hosts events featuring athletes at its two locations in Cross Lanes and Charleston. For more information on the store, check out http://shop.collectiblesectwv.com.

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