The Historic Career of Vols Quarterback Josh Dobbs

The Historic Career of Vols Quarterback Josh Dobbs

January 19, 2020

Joshua Dobbs is a Tennessee quarterback legend. He may have been the smartest player to ever play for Tennessee.  He was one of the most exciting players to play on Rocky Top during his career as a Tennessee Vol.

Dobbs was born and raised in Alpharetta, Georgia, the son of Stephanie and Robert Dobbs. His mother retired from United Parcel Service (UPS) as a region manager in corporate human resources and his father is a senior vice president for Wells Fargo bank.n Joshua has alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease causing hair loss, which first developed when he was transitioning from elementary to junior high school.


Dobbs started playing competitive football when he was five years old.  He attended Wesleyan School and then Alpharetta High School. As a senior with the Alpharetta Raiders football team, he threw for 3,625 yards with 29 touchdowns. Dobbs was a three-star recruit by and a four-star by  He originally committed to Arizona State University to play college football, but in February 2013, he changed his commitment to the University of Tennessee


Dobbs majored in aerospace engineering during his time at the University of Tennessee.  The university presented him with the 2017 Torchbearer Award, the highest honor for an undergraduate student, which recognizes accomplishments in the community and academics. Dobbs was heralded as possessing a perfect 4.0 grade point average and being named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll.




Josh Dobbs excelled at football from a very young age. He went to Alpharetta high school in Alpharetta Georgia. He was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at a young age. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, hence why he is now bald. Dobbs got up on a Power Five interest and actually originally committed Arizona State.

After he decided he want to become an aeronautical engineer after football, he decided to take visits to schools closer to home such as Mississippi State and Tennessee. In the end he became Butch Jones, his first big vol quarterback recruit and he committed to play for the Tennessee Vols.

According to 24/7 Sports, Dobbs has a four-star recruit number 10 pro-style quarterback, and the number 158th overall player in the class of 2013. Experts knew Dobbs  was going to be good, but just a matter of when.  Many feel Dobbs was the best Vols player Jones ever recruited to Tennessee.

Butch Jones was the new chosen guy to lead Tennessee football back to the top of the college football world, but Josh wasn't his quarterback just yet. The season started out rocky in Rocky Top, as they started out three and four with losses on the road to Oregon and Florida followed up by heartbreaking overtime loss to Georgia, but finally something went Tennessee's way.

With that last-second game-winning field goal Tennessee beat number 11 South Carolina and Butch Jones finally got his signature win. Next week against Alabama, quarterback Justin Worley went down with an injury and Dobbs will be forced to burn his redshirt and get in the game.

Josh Dobbs Freshman Year

He ended up completing five of his 12 passes for 75 yards and a blowout loss. The following week Dobbs made his first career start on the road against number 10 Missouri Tigers where he would throw for 240 yards in a blowout loss.

Dobbs and the Vols lose the next two games against Auburn and Vanderbilt but would finally win his first career game against the Kentucky Wildcats and the Vols would go on to finish 5 to 7 on the year. For his freshman year he threw for 695 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions, while completing 59.5% of his passes. Not great numbers but it was the beginning of something special, very special.


Josh Dobbs’ Sophomore Year

Going into 2014, Dobbs once again begin the season as third string quarterback behind Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman. The Vols would had their work cut out for them this year.  Their schedule was rated the 3rd  hardest schedule in college football and luckily forthe TN Vols fans, they won their first two games.

The first big game on the schedule was a primetime matchup against the number four Oklahoma Sooners in Norman. It was clear Tennessee was still in rebound mode and they just weren't at Oklahoma's level yet as they got blown out from the very beginning. Following that, blow out Tennessee football began to struggle even more. Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 206 yards and beat Tennessee practically on his own.  Then the Vols dropped another close one to Florida, were Florida's backup quarterback had to come in and win the game.

After a blowout loss to Ole Miss and some injuries, Tennessee was scrambling for answers, but they would soon find it in the sophomore quarterback Dobbs. Once again, he was forced to split time in the Alabama game and it was apparent, he was the team's best quarterback. He'd go on to play for most of the game and he actually had a pretty solid start line.

The following week Tennessee desperately needed a conference when down seven points with just a few seconds to play they looked at the sophomore quarterback.

Not only did Dobbs deliver the defense made a crucial stop in Tennessee would go on to win the game. For the second straight year they beat South Carolina in a thriller. Josh really hit his stride in his next game against Kentucky. He threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win.



Next game number 19 Missouri

Missouri was fresh off of SEC championship the previous year and they had gotten the best of it before. After a dogfight, Missouri won and remained the only team in the SEC that Tennessee had never beaten. In the final regular season game, Dobbs set the Vols to a 24:17 win against Vanderbilt, and Tennessee became vulnerable for the first time since 2010. They've gone to play Iowa in the Tax Slayer level and won decisively 45 to 28 on the season dogs threw for 1206 yards nine touchdowns and six interceptions while also rushed for eight touchdowns. Tennessee football was trending up and Dobbs was beginning to become the answer for this program.

Josh Dobbs’ Junior Year

His breakout sophomore season Josh was named the starter in the hype had returned to Tennessee football for the first time in years. Tennessee began the season ranked number 25 and their week 2 matchup against Oklahoma was going to be the biggest game in years.

The Vols started out on fire and jump to a 17-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. Tennessee wanted to coast to a win Oklahoma's newfound star Baker Mayfield had other ideas.

Mayfield then come back and seal the sooner win with an interception. Heartbreak from the Vols and another friendly reminder they weren't quite there yet. After the loss, State of Florida next. Once again, they're in the driver's seat. This time, well Greer had other ideas.

Tennessee Vs Florida September 26th, 2015

Despite the miracle play, Tennessee had a chance to win with last-second field goal but it fell short. Before things could go their way, they'd have to drop another game to Arkansas and fall to 2 and 3 on the year. After trailing 24 to 3 against Georgia, Dobbs rallied the troops and with 5 minutes left to play, sealed the game.

After his late touchdown 400 plus yards and offense and 5 touchdowns using the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and momentum was back on the Vols side. And in a defensive battle, Tennessee actually had a good chance to beat Alabama, but a late era would decide their fate.

Tennessee finished the season red-hot as they beat Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Texas, Missouri and Vanderbilt to finish the regular season 8 and 4. They earned a bid to play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl and won the game decisively, ended up cruising to a 9 and 4 record, and Tennessee football was back. All four losses in 2015 or might combine one possession, so they're happy they had a legitimate chance at going undefeated that year.

On the year Dobbs threw for 2,000 291 yards 15 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 671 yards and 11 touchdowns. Dobbs hit a monster junior season and he was setting both himself and the program up to be at the top of college football in 2016.


Josh Dobbs’ Senior Year

Here's where college while playoff contenders going into the 2016 season and began ranked number nine.

Tennessee Vs Appalachian September 1st, 2016

The Vols got the kick off the college football season with a night game against Appalachian State. Things were looking bleak but in the first of many miracles happened in this game.

They won the game but questions over their legitimacy were raised the next game broke the attendance record for any college ball game in college ball history after they beat Virginia Tech at the battle at Bristol. After barely beating Ohio at home, Tennessee struggled against Florida as they were trailing 21 to three and a half, but Dobbs would take over.

Dobbs led the team to score 35 unanswered points and threw for four touchdowns to a 38:28 win; the streak was finally over.

#11 Tennessee @ #25 Georgia September 1st, 2016

Next came arguably one of the best games of the century; number 25 Georgia against number 11 Tennessee. Down 28:24 with less than a minute to go, freshman Jacob Eason took control after Eason’s bomb, Tennessee's chances of bleak but all Dobbs needed was a chance. Verne Lundquist made one of the greatest called wall times and by another miracle Tennessee won.

#9 Tennessee @ #8 Texas A&M October 8th 2016

The following week, the Vols found themselves trailing two Texas A&M; once again Dobbs only needed a chance. It was just going to be a team of destiny. They got themselves to over time the Dobbs threw an interception and Tennessee was unbeaten no more. After that things fell apart quickly as they're blown out by Alabama and lost to South Carolina. They'd go on to beat Tennessee Tech, Kentucky and Missouri, but Tennessee showed its weaknesses as they lost to Vanderbilt in their last game. At the end of the season, they received a bowl bid to play the Music City Bowl or they were going to beat Nebraska and finished nine and four.

Dobbs’ college career was over but his work in the classroom guaranteed him a nice career even if he didn't make it in the NFL. He not only graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering we also had a 4.0 along the way among 2017 Torchbearer award which recognizes an undergraduate for the work in the classroom and in the community.

Dobbs finished fifth all-time in Tennessee industry with 7,138 passing yards; Fifth and passing touchdowns with 53 and he stirred all-time in rushing touchdowns with 32. Dobbs’ star career at Tennessee would be enough to give him a chance to the next level too.

Josh Dobbs  NFL Career

Dobbs is part of the dozen 17 quarterback class that included Sean Watson, Patrick Holmes, Mitchell Trybulski, Dashawn Keizer and former teammate Nathan Peterman. Dobbs was considered a late round pick with a ton of upside and had starting potential down. After Ben Roethlisberger considered retirement, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Dobbs with 130 third pick in the fourth round.

After mediocre played the pre-season Dobbs was named the third string quarterback behind Roethlisberger and Landry Jones. He never played his rookie year and finally saw some action in 2018 and he took a kneel down in a win against the Falcons. His first real actually came a few weeks later when he filled in for injured Roethlisberger including his first pass to Junior Smith Schuster.


He played one more time against the Oakland Raiders who for his career he had completed six of his 12 passes for 43 yards in the interception. The 2019 after Nick Foles got injured for the Jaguars, the Steelers traded Dobbs to them in exchange for a fifth time pick. He's now the backup to both Gardner and Nick Fowles.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching Tennessee football during the Josh Dobbs era and touched he didn't win more games while he was there. It has been awesome to see a guy use a disease to his advantage. He's become a huge advocate for the disease, and has spread a lot of awareness for the issue.  I'm also glad to see him not only succeed on the field but also in the classroom he sees a great role model for other players. Finally, I wish him the best of luck in Jacksonville and I hope he gets his chance to be at starter one day. Thank you guys for reading this article.  If you enjoyed it make sure to give it a like, leave a comment or share and maybe Rocky Top Gifts will invite me to write another one for you guys.  When you need a gifts for the Vols fan in your life please remember Rocky Top Gifts.








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