CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Aaron Dobson has been in raucous stadiums all over the country, but it was nothing compared to the roar that echoed throughout his house when his name was called Friday night in the NFL draft.The three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots used their second pick of the second round and the 59th overall on the Marshall wide receiver and former South Charleston standout.Dobson is the first draftee who is a native of the state and the Kanawha Valley since former Ohio State and Capital standout Darrion Scott, who was selected in the third round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2004.About 50 family and friends packed Dobson's home in Dunbar to watch the NFL Draft.
"My whole house just went crazy,'' said Dobson in a phone interview moments after his name was called. "I'm excited. Just to go anywhere and fulfill my dream of playing in the NFL is exciting.''In each of his last three seasons, the 6-foot-3, 210-poiund Dobson had at least 44 catches and 668 yards receiving. He had 12 touchdown catches in 2011. His 24 career touchdown receptions tie former Patriot Troy Brown for fourth most in Marshall history.Dobson was a captain for the Thundering Herd last year, was selected to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List and participated in the Senior Bowl. The wideout missed two games because of injury but still set a career-high with 57 catches. For his career, he finished ninth in the school's all-time record book with 2,398 receiving yards.
Dobson is the eighth Thundering Herd player picked in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. He joined Lee Smith (2011) and Troy Brown (1993) as former Marshall players drafted by the Patriots. Marshall has had at least one player selected in each of the last three drafts. Last season Vinny Curry was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles, also as the 59th overall pick."Catching balls from Tom Brady is going to be amazing,'' Dobson said. "It's a crazy feeling. He's been in the league 12 years. He came into the league when I was 9 or 10 years old.''Dobson said he's ready to get to work."I'm just going in to try to prove myself and get myself a spot,'' he said. "I'm taking it all in. I'm just happy I know where I'm going and know who I'll be playing with. I'm just excited to start.''Dobson said he plans to take a trip to the Patriots' facilities next weekend. "It's something I've been dreaming about since I was little,'' he said. "It's a whole bunch of emotions running high.''Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.