CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The running back position was one of the few bright spots for the Herbert Hoover football team as it worked its way through 1-9 season last fall.
That position was bolstered by sophomore running back Shaun Dotson, who tallied 716 yards and six touchdowns on 151 carries in Hoover's newly installed ground-oriented veer offense.
He also contributed eight receptions for 76 yards, along with 10 kickoff returns totaling 200 yards.
But Dotson's season didn't start with a bang.
"Shaun put the ball on the ground three times during the first day of hitting and we had a talk about that," Hoover Coach Tim Meyer said. "I told him that was one of the things that he had to improve on because we can't turn the ball over.
"He knuckled down and I can only think of one or two turnovers he had last season. He worked hard on how to hold onto the ball and he took care of it for us.
"It was a night and day improvement, that's what sticks out in my mind the most."
Dotson's improvement continued in the offseason as a regular in the Huskies' weight room and conditioning, which he hopes will lead to bigger plays offensively.
"We're very comfortable with it (the veer) now," said the 5-foot-7, 180-pound Dotson, who has added 10 pounds since the end of last season. "We should be a lot better this year since we're more comfortable with the offense, and we're a lot stronger and faster this year.
"Our line is pretty strong up front. I think they're all squatting 400 pounds this year, so the holes have been huge."
Dotson's gain in weight may also turn into a gain for the Huskies defense, as he'll get the starting nod at Will linebacker.
It's a move that Dotson - who played sparingly at defensive back last season - and Meyer are eager to see happen.