Demar Dotson has come a long way.
The 6-9 Dotson played basketball at Southern Miss. When he tried football as a senior, coaches used him for six games -- on the defensive line.
With the Buccaneers, he went from undrafted free agent in 2009 to starting right tackle last year. On Thursday, the team gave Dotson a four-year contract worth $7.5 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Last season, Dotson (6-9, 315) took over for an injured Jeremy Trueblood in Week 2 and held onto the starting job even when Trueblood came back.
Dotson, 27, graded out as the 13th-best right tackle in the NFL last year, excelling as a pass blocker but struggling in the run game, according to Pro Football Focus. He was entering the final year of a two-year deal when the Bucs gave him a new contract.
“He brings incredible work ethic and focus and commitment to get better,'' Bucs coach Greg Schiano said of Dotson at the NFL owners meetings, according to the paper. “And when you get those two guards back (Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph) back, that makes his life better, too.''