St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Player spotlight: Darnell Dockett

By Compiled by BRIAN LANDMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- Coming to Florida State as the nation's top-rated defensive end a year ago, Darnell Dockett imagined he one day would be the next Reinard Wilson or Peter Boulware.

But a week before the season opener, Bobby Bowden asked him to move to defensive tackle.

How about the next Corey Simon?

It could happen.

"I didn't feel comfortable with it at first, but it was a team thing," Dockett said. "That's where they said they needed help at, so that's why I went over. Actually, I'm starting to like it."

Like most of the members of his highly touted recruiting class, Dockett sat out last season as a redshirt. While he recognized it's difficult for any freshman to play immediately at a top-shelf program, sitting didn't sit well with him.

"It was very tough; I was kind of disappointed," he said, adding that he considered transferring more than once but never more seriously than when Bowden suggested the position change. "At first, I was like, I came here to play defensive end and now I get moved around. Who says they're not going to move me again. But I just put trust in the coach. If this is the move he wants me to do, it'll turn out well."

He played on passing situations against Brigham Young and recorded his first sack. With starters Chris Woods and Kevin Emanuel injured a week later, Dockett saw more playing time against Georgia Tech and has started the last three games.

"He is really playing good," Bowden said. "He was a defensive end and he'd be just a pretty good defensive end. But you put him in there, man, he's like a duck in water. He really took right to it."

Dockett, 6 feet 4 and 265 pounds, has 29 tackles, sixth on the team and tops among the linemen, and three sacks, second to senior All-America candidate Jamal Reynolds.

Give defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins credit for so rapidly transforming Dockett into a force, helping FSU's young tackles spearhead the nation's No. 3-rated run defense.

Dockett has responded to Haggins' upbeat, encouraging style.

"I'm always positive with him because throughout his life, he's had a lot of negatives," Haggins said.

Both of Dockett's parents are dead and he lived with his paternal uncle, Kevin Dockett, in Burtonsville, Md., as a teenager. That's why the Maryland game Thursday was so special for Dockett. He had nearly 100 family and friends in the stands behind the FSU bench.

"I heard him calling my name on the sidelines a bunch of times; saying, "I'm so proud of you, to see where you're at,' " Dockett said of his uncle. "It made me feel good. I'm so glad I'm playing now. It makes me want to work even harder to make him even more proud of me."

- Extra Points compiled by Brian Landman.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Bucs

  • These mishaps of special concern to Bucs
  • Reports of frustration by Keyshawn emerge
  • Baseball

  • First blow to M's and A's
  • Rothschild's return a thrill for Piniella
  • First blow to A's
  • Lightning

  • The time is now for defensemen
  • Hay departure brings roster to 19
  • League opens season tonight with Avs-Stars
  • College football

  • 'Rooster' ready to go if needed
  • Freshman QBs get their shots
  • Player spotlight: Darnell Dockett
  • Kicker won't think about history with 'wide right'
  • Hubert Mizell

  • Spurrier admits errors
  • NBA

  • Wizards tip off first full season on Jordan's watch
  • Sports Etc.

  • Captain's corner
  • Lawsuit fights Knight firing
  • Kelly agrees to manage Twins for 15th season
  • Cardinals win wooly opener
  • Cobras clinch third SAC title with win
  • Berkeley Prep ready to take on state's best
  • Rally puts Leopards into tie for first place
  • Class of the county
  • Berkeley edges Wharton on final hole of match
  • Bradley aiming to be All-American
  • Victory helps heal Clearwater
  • Califf puts L.A. ahead


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts