CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bobby Dobson vividly remembers his son's college debut in Blacksburg, Va., the jolting moment that it was.
It was Sept. 12, 2009 and freshman Aaron Dobson's Marshall team was getting thrashed by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Hokies were up 45-7 after three quarters, and Andre Booker's redshirt had already bitten the dust.
In the fourth quarter, Aaron Dobson hit the field. Much like every other green-shirted Marshall fan left in Lane Stadium, the father muttered some version of "what"?
"I was looking forward to the redshirt year. I think he was, also," Bobby Dobson said. "He thought he had the talent to play, but that was still 'men against boys' at that time. So he had in mind, 'I'll get bigger and stronger, learn the offense, learn the ropes' and next year he'll go out and compete for a starting position."
But in this second game of the 2009 season, the future became the present.
"We had no idea, especially with the score of the game at the time they put him in," Bobby Dobson said. "We're like, 'OK, this is over with, nothing to worry about.' Then all of a sudden, we saw him and Andre on the field. I said, 'Wow. What is happening?'
"You know, it all worked out for the best."
Nobody will ever know how much better Marshall's upcoming team would have performed with Aaron Dobson as a fifth-year senior. It is uncertain how much higher his NFL stock would be a year from now.
But this much we know: Dobson will be drafted, possibly on Friday when the second and third rounds are telecast on ESPN. The first round airs at 8 p.m. today; the Friday schedule starts at 6:30 p.m. and the draft resumes at noon Saturday.
There is some disparity among draft analysts on where and when he will go.
On NFL.com Monday, Josh Norris released a 1-through-254 mock draft, pegging Dobson in the fourth round, 122nd overall to the Green Bay Packers.
ESPN rates Dobson as the ninth-best receiver - in one interesting comparison, West Virginia's Stedman Bailey is 10th. In Mel Kiper's "Grade A" draft, in which he played general manager of all 32 teams, he selected Dobson 65th overall, in the third round by the Detroit Lions.
Wherever he gets drafted, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder stands to be the first Kanawha Valley native selected in nine years, since Capital's Darrion Scott was taken by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2004 draft.
It will be a proud moment for the town of Dunbar, South Charleston High and, most important, the Dobson family.