A local sports team had its sights on Aaron Dobson once before. Northeastern University had a hold of the Patriots’ second-round draft choice when he was a senior in high school and trying to decide on a college, not to mention a sport.

Four years ago, NU’s hoop team brought Dobson in from West Virginia for its allotted 48-hour visit. Not only was Dobson a stud football player in high school, he was also a gifted basketball player, twice earning all-state and all-Mountain State Athletic Conference honors, along with MSAC Player of the Year recognition.

NU basketball coach Bill Coen and then-assistant John Rhodes did everything they could to make sure the South Charleston High’s star guard would commit to the Huskies.

“We recruited him that summer. We knew he was a talented football player, but he was really torn which direction he wanted to go,” Coen said over the weekend. “He was arguably the best wide receiver in West Virginia high school, so he had options. But he came up and visited. He has a terrific family. He really liked it here.”

Rhodes, who was at Ohio University prior to landing at Northeastern, had become familiar with Dobson when he played AAU basketball. When he got the job at Northeastern, Rhodes brought Coen into the loop, and after the head coach did his own homework, Dobson was invited to visit the Huntington Avenue locale.

“We took a calculated risk. If it bounced our way, we were going to get a terrific young man with a chance to be a major contributor for us,” Coen said, “but we knew there was a distinct possibility it might go the other way. Ultimately, he got recruited at a slightly higher level for football.”

Dobson chose the other path. He went with football, remaining close to his roots and lining up as a wide receiver at Marshall.