Meet the new face of SEC football.
Joshua Dobbs is everything a college athlete should be. He’s a talented football player, a charismatic leader and a prolific athlete with ambitions that extend far away from the gridiron. The Georgia native took a round about road to find his way to the Vols but now that he’s been officially named the Tennessee starter under center, Dobbs is not about to let him moment pass him by.
Here’s what you need to know about the player his coach calls “CEO,” his friends call “Astro” and analysts call the future:
1. Dobbs is the Vols Starter After a Solid Sophomore Season
Following a solid season last year, Dobbs officially took over as the Volunteers starting quarterback earlier this spring. Tennessee coach Butch Jones called Dobbs the “CEO” of the team. The junior quarterback explained his approach to the new role after the Vols spring game earlier this year:
My goal is to push this team and lead this team into the spring and into the fall. My goal is to push this team as hard as I can through the 15 practices we have (this spring).
Dobbs started under center during the later part of last season after injuries took their toll on the Tennessee starting lineup and his play is a big-time reason why the Volunteers are already considered a potential contender in the ever-competitive SEC. He’s vocal, he’s determined and he’s already worked to gain the trust of his teammates. As far as Jones is concerned, Dobbs is more than prepared for the pressure and ready to lead this team.
2. He Originally Committed to Arizona State University
Although he’s found his niche in orange and white, Dobbs wasn’t always planning on playing his college football at Tennessee. In fact, the four-star recruit originally committed to Arizona State before changing his decision in February 2013.
Dobbs had verbally committed with the Sun Devils nearly eight months before changing his mind and surprising a handful of fans and analysts alike when he opted to switch to Tennessee. He also had offers from Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
Earlier this summer ASU coach Todd Graham discussed the move, calling Dobbs the recruit that got away.
3. Dobbs is an Aerospace Engineering Major
Although his college career may frequently focus on football, Dobbs is much more than an athlete. In fact, the guy is pretty smart. Like ridiculously smart.
Dobbs is an aerospace engineer major, studying in the Chancellor’s Honors Program at Tennessee. According to an interview with the school’s website, a typical day for Dobbs begins at 6:30 a.m. with class going from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and football workouts in the afternoon. He’s in practice and film sessions from 2 to 7 p.m. Then, after dinner, Dobbs wraps up his day at the Thornton Academic Center from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Over the summer Dobbs interned at Pratt and Whitney in West Palm Beach, working on the F-135 engine, a plane that will soon be war-ready and his teammates call him ‘Astro.’
4. He Cites His Parents & His Religion as the Biggest Influences on His Life
It would be easy for Dobbs to find his schedule overwhelming. Between classes and workouts and games and interviews, the Tennessee quarterback is seemingly in constant demand. But Dobbs has found a focal point in the occasional insanity thanks a strong relationship to his parents, Robert and Stephanie, as well as his faith.
He told Tennessee’s website:
My personal relationship with Jesus Christ means everything to me. Everything that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to God and my parents. I try to live my life in a way that it glorifies God in everything I do. I was raised in a Christian home, where my parents grounded me in principles that help me deal with the demands of life. I believe in the power of prayer. Whether a situation is good or bad, I am guided by my faith. I am a member of First Redeemer Church back home. I try to attend church regularly here in the Knoxville and really enjoy visiting several of the local churches.
Dobbs grew up in an Atlanta suburb and built his athletic reputation on his blazing speed. His parents always focused on a school-first mentality though, a philosophy he’s carried well into his college career.
5. Dobbs Was Named the Preseason All-SEC Quarterback
Long before he took his first snap of the 2015-16 season, Dobbs has already been heralded as the new face of the SEC. After throwing for 1,206 yards and nine touchdowns, as well as 469 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns last year, Dobbs is ready to assume a brand-new leadership role with both the Vols and the division.
He got his first taste of preseason honors when he was named to all-SEC preseason third team as quarterback. Dobbs was also named to the Manning Award watch list one of 30 quarterbacks selected nationally.
Editor’s note: Are you playing daily fantasy yet? Heavy’s partners at DraftKings are paying out $1 billion to daily fantasy players. Sign up with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.