By Bill Swartz
When you defeat an opponent 63-to-7 there are almost too many highlight plays to remember. Husky football fans are still marveling over last Saturday’s 69-yard interception return for touchdown against Montana by reserve defensive back Jomon “Juice” Dotson.
Putting a stop watch on Bob Rondeau’s KOMO radio play-by-play, the pick-six took nearly 25 seconds from start to finish. Dotson ran backwards, sideways and finally forwards, for what seemed like most of the Montlake neighborhood.
“The quarterback threw the ball in my zone and in my mind I was like ‘I’ve gotta score’. I don’t want anybody to take me down. All I was looking at was touchdown, and I was able to get into the end zone and my teammates jumped on me. It still doesn’t feel real to me, but it happened and was a really exciting moment for me,” Doston shared with KOMO news following UW’s Tuesday practice.
A play like that wasn’t possible the first three years of Dotson’s Washington career because he was playing tailback on offense. Last spring the red-shirt junior from American Canyon, California, went to the coaches requesting they move him to defense.
“Of course we had some people leave and go to the NFL draft last year from our secondary. So I felt on that side it was an opportunity to help my team get back to the playoffs to win a national championship,” explained Dotson.
The last time Jomon played defensive back in a real football game was his junior year in high school. He’s worked diligently on his footwork and technique to contribute in a very young, deep UW secondary. Dotson’s unselfish attitude has endeared him to Husky teammates, enough for many to run out onto the field and celebrate with the guy nicknamed “Juice”.
“I’ve had that name since I was little. I used to drink a lot of juice before games, and people would say, ‘Man, he’s so fast, he’s so fast.' So people started calling me 'Juice,' and happily, that’s my name.” His favorite is grape juice, which he keeps stocked in the fridge.
By the way, that end-zone celebration after Jomon Dotson’s sensational interception return drew a 15-yard penalty on the Huskies. Coach Chris Petersen made the offenders do 500 push-ups during Sunday practice. While none of the players wanted to hurt the team, most said they didn’t mind doing the push-ups, because it was for “Juice.”
Sixth-ranked Washington hosts Fresno State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. with Gaard Swanson hosting KOMO Kickoff on am 1000/ fm 97.7