Badgers Offer Mainland Trio

Although they play at a school that didn't produce a lot of high-end talent last season, Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland linebacker Marcus Brunson and defensive backs Meiko Dotson (pictured) and Arthur Westbrook are good enough to all get Wisconsin offers Monday.

Marcus Brunson, Meiko Dotson and Arthur Westbrook aren't the most highly sought after prep football trio; far from it, actually.

In a state known for its rich recruiting territories and power schools, Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland didn't have any three-star recruits or any players ranked at any individual position, meaning coaches choose to spent the time in their limited recruiting window at the schools overflowing with talent.

That doesn't mean, however, that Mainland doesn't have some athletes in its program.

"We're good kids and we can play," Westbrook told BadgerNation. "We also work really hard. We work hard from the spring all the way through to December."

Brunson, Dotson or Westbrook didn't had any contact with Wisconsin prior to the offers being extended on Monday or any real knowledge of the Badgers, but all were in agreement that UW's offer is a game changer.

Wisconsin is putting an emphasis on recruiting defensive backs in the 2015 class, particularly the ones with speed and ball skills. While Brunson is the hybrid linebacker defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is looking for (he had 135 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 16 sacks a year ago), Dotson and Westbrook are defensive backs who tend to play up at the line of scrimmage, a position similar to what Aranda is looking for.

"I feel like they (Wisconsin) need corners who just come out and play, have that instinct," said Dotson. "Guys that are just ready to play. Our coach always tells us that we either have to come out and play or the other team is going to have a big game. They (Wisconsin) want people who have fight in them that are ready to come out and play."

Westbrook had 82 tackles, five interceptions, four interceptions returned for touchdowns and two fumble recoveries, while Dotson finished last season with 50 tackles, eight interceptions and two interceptions returned for touchdowns.

"We push each other every day," said Dotson, who has offers from Bowling Green, Charlotte, Georgia Southern, USF and Western Michigan, in addition to Wisconsin. "Some days I am better than him and other days he's better than me. We help each other with our weaknesses and try to get better."

That's one of the main reasons Dotson and Westbrook are planning to play together at the same college, although Dotson admitted "our whole defense would love to stay together." Wisconsin is the first major school to offer both Dotson and Westbrook, making the Badgers one of the early favorites.

"I feel like we already know how each other plays already," said Dotson. "We can still be that and I feel it would be better if I played with him (in college). If I played with another person, I know I would have to learn things all over again and build a relationship. Now we know how each other plays and how to talk to each other. We know what we got to do."

Both players say watching film has allowed their game to grow by leaps. With Mainland taping practices for its players, Westbrook noticed despite his high tackling numbers that he could get better making contact and playing man-to-man defense by consistently taking repetitions.

"I'll go back and watch practice (from last year) and I can see I've gotten a lot better with my coverage and tackling," said Westbrook, who claims offers from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, Tennessee State and USF.

Dotson, on the other hand, has gotten a grasp of what the role of every player on the field is supposed to be, allowing him to improve his football I.Q. and make the game come more naturally.

"Everything comes to you because you know where everybody is supposed to be," said Dotson. "If something goes wrong, you know where that person is supposed to be and you can fix it."

Both players talked about their high interest in Wisconsin, especially Westbrook, who is friends with former New Smyrna Beach athlete and Wisconsin 2014 commit D'Cota Dixon.

Each player also plans to attend the Florida Atlantic team camp and individual camps at Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech, take some official visits in the fall and make their decisions on or around signing day in February.


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