Former Packers defensive tackle Santana Dotson went to Houston Yates High School, as did George Floyd. Dotson is four years older than Floyd, so the two met only once.
That came in 1993 after Dotson’s rookie season with the Buccaneers and while Floyd was a tight end at Yates.
Floyd stood out. Literally.
“George’s team went to the state championship and they lost, so when I came back after my rookie season, I spoke to the team and we were introduced,” Dotson told Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “We were looking eye to eye, and there weren’t many kids in the room as tall as me.”
After hearing about Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, Dotson didn’t make the connection that it was the same George Floyd until a former high school coach called him.
“Coming up in our community, everyone has a nickname,” Dotson said. “His nickname from his family and from the football team was ‘Big Freak’ — as in Super Freak because he was a basketball player and football player. When I went back and talked to the team, we were eye to eye. He had to be 6-5 or 6-6 then, so thus the nickname.”
Dotson, who played 10 NFL seasons, has lived in Houston since his retirement.