NASHVILLE (WATE) – Quarterback Joshua Dobbs closed his Tennessee career with 87 touchdowns and three bowl game wins. After setting the Music City Bowl record with three rushing touchdowns, he was also named MVP.
University of Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones has already said he hasn’t fully come to grips with his star quarterback graduating. Jones said he does know is Dobbs has made a lasting impression on the Tennessee athletics program.
“He’s left a legacy,” said Jones on Dobbs. “I think it will be a great springboard for our quarterbacks and really managing your time, the expectations that come with playing the quarterback position at the University of Tennessee, the scrutiny and being able to handle the social media, not being too high too low, just consistency in performance.”
It’s a big difference from two years prior when Tennessee was still trying to decide if they even wanted Dobbs as their quarterback. Just days before the start of the 2014 season, Jones listed all three quarterbacks: Justin Worley, Nathan Peterman and Dobbs as potential starters for the game.
Worley would win the competition but injured his shoulder against Ole Miss. The next week fans were given a glimpse of the future against Alabama. Dobbs replaced Peterman. Tennessee had another loss, but Dobbs finished the game with 192 yards through the air and 75 yards on the grounds, throwing two touchdowns.
The next week against South Carolina, Dobbs became the “man of the moment.” Tennessee came back in the fourth quarter to score 14 unanswered points thanks in large part to the play of Dobbs. He finished the game with more than 450 total yards, his two late touchdowns forced overtime, and a missed field goal sealed the deal for Tennessee.
After South Carolina, Jones announced Worley had to undergo a season-ending shoulder surgery. Dobbs took over as starting quarterback in November.
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From there, Tennessee’s love affair with Dobbs was born.
The “dual-threat quarterback” broke Tennessee’s record for touchdown runs, has the second most yards of total offense in Tennessee history, behind only Peyton Manning and is one of only three quarterbacks in SEC history with 15 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in multiple seasons.
The Alpharetta, Georgia, native will perhaps always be known for his miraculous “Hail Mary” pass to Jauan Jennings against Georgia in 2016. He threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to win the game. The outcome even left Jones uncharacteristically emotional.
The Tennessee quarterback is also impressive in the classroom, where he is wrapping up his degree in aerospace engineering. His ultimate goal is to design airplanes.
“From the time he was a little kid his academics came first. It’s refreshing to see that,” says Kevin Crandall, who coached Dobbs when he was first learning the game of football. “His mother and father really harp on him about academics and being a good person, and it just so happens he’s a really good football player. When you incorporate being a really good football player and a really good person, the sky is the limit.”
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Dobbs has also won the hearts of fans, taking time out of his busy schedule to visit with his fans and help others. He met a Morristown fifth grader who also has alopecia, a condition that occurs when your immune system attacks hair follicles. Ripley decided to write Dobbs a letter asking him about if he was worried about people making fun of him. A few weeks later she got a note back from him and even got to meet him.
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A viral video made the rounds of a little boy crying because he didn’t get a chance to meet Dobbs, his hero, at the Orange and White Game. After seeing the video, Dobbs was able to meet the little boy and even gave him a signed football.
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Even as Dobbs plays his final game, one thing is certain, he will leave a lasting impression on fans.