After Dolphins training camp let out on Saturday, Brandon Doughty spent several minutes signing autographs for the young children lined up. Not too long ago, Doughty was one of those young children.
Doughty, a quarterback out of Western Kentucky, was a seventh round draft pick of the Dolphins this past NFL draft. He grew up in Davie, within four miles of the Dolphins training camp facility at Nova Southeastern University.
“I went to every training camp practice, all the youth camps; I did all that stuff,” Doughty says of his childhood.
As a child, his favorite player was Dan Marino. He was Dan Marino a couple times for Halloween. When he was developing as a quarterback, Doughty tried to emulate Jay Fiedler.
Doughty attended North Broward Prep, where he was named to the First-Team All-Broward County by the Miami Herald.
At Western Kentucky, Doughty was named Conference USA’s most valuable player in 2014 and 2015, leading the FBS in passing yards and passing touchdowns both seasons and leading his team to a conference championship in 2015.
“That’s in the past. You have to move on, see what amazing numbers I can put up in the NFL,” Doughty said of his stats at Western Kentucky. “I think anytime you come to a new place, you have to prove yourself all over again.”
He thinks he has more to prove coming from a small school.
“I think you’d be lying if someone said it wasn’t difficult,” Doughty says about going from being the star of the team to taking only a handful of reps during practice, “but you just have to learn your role and not skip steps and try to really, really just make this team. That’s my number one goal.”
Playing so close to home, Doughty’s friends and family have come out to training camp to watch him.
“It means a ton. It puts a little extra pressure on me,” he says of having them in the stands. He added, “what’s a life without pressure? I think life is all about being in pressure situations and competing.”
Doughty is trying to learn from everybody around him.
“He’s a quarterback guru, and he’s not labeled that for nothing. It’s pretty cool to have somebody who’s had success with quarterbacks like Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning,” he says of coach Adam Gase.
He says the Dolphins offense is “very complex compared to Western [Kentucky’s]. He says he has to work with the receivers to get the timing right. he tries to pick at the minds of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
“Ryan Tannehill is one of the most accurate quarterbacks I’ve been around. That’s coming from me who led the nation in completion percentage (at 71.9 percent). The guy can throw the ball anywhere he wants,” said Doughty. “He’s a master of protections.”
Doughty admits to being a little frustrated after the first round of the draft. “I thought I was a first round pick. I think everyone does, being a competitor.”
Gase said that he has not determined whether he will keep two or three quarterbacks on the roster for the regular season, but he said about Doughty, “it was good to see that he really took some time over the summer and made sure that he knew what was going on.”
Whatever the road ahead, Doughty feels fortunate: “going through the draft and being selected to my hometown team, this couldn’t have happened any better.”