If you’ve been watching the University of Tennessee football games and thinking Davy Crockett looks familiar, that’s because he’s from Lincoln County. Eli Dotson is the son of Philip and Rujena Dotson and was a 2020 graduate of Fayetteville High School. Eli is currently a Junior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Agricultural Business. As a student he was active in 4-H, FFA, student government, basketball as well as Chamber Youth and Leadership Lincoln Youth.
How did he end up being Davy Crockett, and leading more than 100,000 fans in cheering on the Tennessee Volunteers you might ask? It all started when Eli applied to be Smokey’s handler. Currently, he is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity in Knoxville, Tennessee which is the fraternity that all of Smokey’s handlers have come from. The group of 12 applicants was narrowed to four based upon an application and video recorded answers to three questions. He made the cut to the final four but, was disappointed not to be selected as Smokey’s handler. Shortly after the interview, the committee reached out to Eli and asked if he would be interested in going through the selection process to potentially be Davy Crockett. Things played out positively from there.