top of page

Cobee Bryant, Mello Dotson: A Kansas Jayhawks Duo to Witness

Mello Dotson and Cobee Bryant
© Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY SPORTS

There are plenty of stacked secondaries in college football. Ohio State's Denzel Burke and Lathan Ransom, Michigan's Will Johnson, Arizona's Tacario Davis and so many others make the list of the nation's best defensive backs.

There is one duo that may not be getting talked about enough, however, one that has been together for years now and could certainly top the list of best corner duo in the nation when all is said and done. That duo is Cobee Bryant and Mello Dotson of the Kansas Jayhawks.

About Bryant, Dotson

Bryant came to Kansas in 2020 from Evergreen, Alabama. He was ranked as a three-star recruit coming out of high school and would commit to the Jayhawks in February 2020 after decommitting just a few days earlier. Dotson also came to Kansas in 2020. Hailing from Daytona Beach, Fla., the three-star recruit chose Kansas in February 2020, making Bryant and Dotson an unintentional package deal.

Dotson would be the first to see action, as he recorded 3 games during his freshman year while Bryant did not record a snap in 2020. In 2021, both Bryant and Dotson saw themselves thrust into starting roles, with both playing over 10 games, respectively. Bryant would record 22 tackles with 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection and 2 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Dotson would record 24 total tackles, an interception, a pass deflection, a forced fumble and a recovery.

By 2022, both guys started to gain their stride once they were named full-time starters. Dotson would record 54 total tackles with 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions and 6 pass deflections. Bryant would record 38 total tackles with 1 tackle for loss, 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, a forced fumble and a touchdown on an interception return. Bryant would be named an All-Big 12 Conference First-Team player.

Finally, in 2023, the two had their best years yet. Bryant would record 32 total tackles with 5 tackles for loss, 5 pass deflections, 4 interceptions, and a forced fumble for a recovery and a touchdown. Dotson would record 48 total tackles with 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 11 pass deflections, 4 interceptions and 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns in back-to-back games, becoming the first-ever Kansas football player to do so.

Bryant would earn First-Team All-Big 12 honors once again, becoming the first Kansas defensive back to go back-to-back years since Aqib Talib in 2006-07. Dotson would also finally earn his flowers, earning a Big 12 Honorable Mention and a College Football Network Third Team All-American nod.

New Leaders, Same Expectations

The duo would contribute toward a massive improvement for the Kansas defense in 2023, jumping from the 96th-ranked defense in 2022 to the 52nd-ranked defense in 2023. This year, they are set to make it their best year yet, leading the Kansas defense as seniors into the great challenge of facing Big 12 offenses. The two have been named by some already as the best cornerback duo in the nation, with Bryant being named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Watchlist for the second straight season, and while some may doubt that honor, they're both out to prove they're the best.

The pair will also have a new defensive backs coach at the helm this year. DK McDonald, formerly the defensive backs coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2021-23, will offer his professional experience and advice to the two NFL Draft hopefuls as well as the rest of the Kansas secondary. McDonald has experience as both a player and coach in the NFL, so the Jayhawks defensive back group will lean on him heavily for guidance.

DK McDonald
© Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal/USA TODAY SPORTS

"He was teaching grown men and those are shoes that I want to be in, that's the spot I want to be in. So learning from him is big," Dotson said in an interview with 247Sports's Michael Swain.

Shooting for the Stars

Pairing McDonald with a gifted, talented duo of cornerbacks such as Bryant and Dotson is a match made in heaven for the Jayhawks. Thanks to McDonald's leadership, the two corners will further hone their craft and aid their efforts in becoming NFL Draft-ready. That isn't the goal for these two this year though, at least not yet. That goal is winning the Big 12 title and getting to the College Football Playoff, where the Jayhawks will have the chance to compete for their first-ever national title in football.

"We're chasing titles, we want all of that ... every day we have that mindset of no days off, and we're going for the playoffs," Bryant said in an interview with Through the Phog.

The Jayhawks begin their season on Aug. 29 when they take on the Lindenwood Lions at home. You can find more Jayhawks football news as well as other Big 12 headlines here at College Football Dawgs.


Michigan Football
Blue Screen
bottom of page