Aaron Dotson (6-4, 196) was fresh off his official visit that he took to Louisville last weekend and he had an official planned to the hometown Washington Huskies before he had planned to make his decision sometime next week.
However, his trip to Louisville was all he needed to realize where he wanted to spend the next four years of his life.
“LSU was always on my mind and I kind of knew that was where I wanted to go, but on my trip to Louisville is when I started to realize it,” said Dotson. “LSU was my first trip so I needed to compare these other ones to it, but LSU was just a much better situation for me.”
Dotson’s official visit to LSU was the weekend that the Tigers played North Texas. He had originally planned to make it in the week before, but that trip was postponed due to Baton Rouge having to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.
Despite having to wait a little longer to make the trip all the way down from Seattle, it was well worth the wait as Dotson found his new home.
“The people really made me feel so comfortable when I was there,” said the nation’s 22nd ranked shooting guard. “Then the assistants really took to me and made me feel like they really wanted me. It was just a good situation all around and the players were all real cool. When I put it all together it was just the perfect fit.”
Many felt that LSU did not have much of a chance at landing the 4-star shooting guard when his name surfaced on various recruiting lists.
After all, there is a lot of distance between Baton Rouge and Seattle, and distance often influences a recruit’s decision.
It did so in this case as well, but for one of the few times, being far away from home played into LSU’s favor.
“I wanted to get away from home and I really wanted to play for coach Johnson,” said Dotson. “Getting away is something I kind of had my mind set on and then once I got to know coach Johnson it all clicked.”
The relationship that Dotson built with Johnson over time was ultimately the deciding factor for the Rainier Beach product.
There were other dynamics that caught Dotson’s eye, but make no mistake about it, Johnson is what tipped the scales towards LSU.
“Coach is so honest and up front that it makes you feel so comfortable,” said Dotson. “He really cares about his players and about the program. You can just tell from listening to him talk. He’s from this area and everybody knows him so I feel like I know him as well as you could know a coach.”
The early playing time that Dotson can get at LSU was another plus for the Tigers, but he doesn’t expect to get anything handed to him.
“LSU was the best opportunity playing-time wise and I can go in and work hard and play early,” said Dotson. “I know I’m going to have to work to get on the court and that’s the only way I would want it. If a player doesn’t work hard then it doesn’t help him and it only hurts the team. So, I’ll definitely be going down there to work.”
With his decision behind him, Dotson said his focus will be solely on helping his school win its second consecutive state title.
The Vikings finished the year 29-1 and he averaged 16 points and six rebounds during the banner season.
“I thought about this a lot and I didn’t rush into anything, but at the same time I wanted to get my decision over before my season started,” said Dotson. “We have a tough schedule ahead of us and we have one goal – to win state.
“Me personally, I set a goal to be more vocal. Last year I tried to lead by example, but this year I want to be that vocal leader along with leading by my actions.”
And when he’s not playing on the court, Dotson will be looking for every opportunity to see his new team play.
“I’ll be checking them out every chance I get,” he said. “I want to see how they play and I want to see them win.”
Dotson said he will not be taking any other visits and he will probably sign in the early signing period which begins on Nov. 12 and runs through Nov. 19.