Dakota Caton has always been willing to work hard and prove his worth on the football field.
“From a young age I mean Dakota’s always been smaller than all of the competition he’s usually went against and so that kinda pushed him and strived him to press on and get better,” said Mike Caton, Dakota’s father.
Despite spending a couple years off the field while growing up, Caton eventually returned, suiting up for Sullivan High School and using his work ethic and speed to overshadow his size.
Caton’s time at Sullivan turned him into a two-time All State star, and then the Golden Arrow took his talents, aimed about 30 miles north, and landed himself at Indiana State.
“I was on my way to work one night and he called me and said ‘I got some news for ya’ and I was like ‘what’s that?’ and he said ‘they offered me a full ride’ and I couldn’t believe it it was pretty awesome,” said Dusty Arnett, Dakota’s cousin.
Caton’s accomplishments especially stand out due to his humble beginnings.
“Coming from a small town, you don’t get a lot of recognition so seeing him develop as he’s going on from Indiana State from Sullivan High School has just been amazing,” said Mike Caton.
And Caton is considered an inspiration to several players coming up through the same football programs.
“Hopefully he understands what it means to these kids just seeing him at the games and stuff, they’re striving to be at that level and the kids I coach in junior high all look up to him, they have since they were in third grade,” said Arnett.
The kid who was once counted out because of his size, now making a big name for himself in the Valley.
“He’s a kid that’s completely full of drive and will not settle for anything but the best and he’s gonna obtain, every goal that he sets, he’s gonna work hard to obtain it,” said Mike Caton.