Former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs graduated from the University of Tennessee on Thursday.
Dobbs, 22, graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering.
The VFL walked across the stage at Thompson-Boling Arena to enthusiastic applause from the friends and family members of graduates in the crowd, as well as his own classmates.
"A lot of excitement," Dobbs said, describing the moment. "Especially to spend the day with a lot of people you went to school with. We spent a lot of time in the library across campus. It's definitely exciting to graduate and spend it with great friends and familiar faces."
His parents, Robert and Stephanie, taught him that education always came first. Dobbs said he takes a lot of pride in his accomplishment.
"It was of the utmost importance," Dobbs said. "You definitely want to take advantage of that opportunity, to go get a degree in something you enjoy, have a passion for, but also something worthwhile you can use down the road."
Dobbs may not use his bachelor degree for a while. He hopes to latch on with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team that selected him in the fourth round of April's NFL Draft. Dobbs smiled at the notion that life gets harder after college.
"It doesn't get tougher," Dobbs said. "It's all about your perspective. It's just enjoyment. You've got to take it one step at a time, enjoy life as it comes at you. Enjoy it one day at a time...if you do that, it'll be a lot of fun."
Dobbs had a brief celebration with friends and family following the graduation ceremony before he headed to the airport. The quarterback was to arrive at Pittsburgh around midnight.
The Steelers' rookie mini-camp starts Friday.
"I'm excited to get on the field," Dobbs said.
Former Vols defensive end Corey Vereen graduated in the same ceremony with a bachelor of science in computer science. Vereen agreed to terms with the New England Patriots on a free agent contract shortly afer the NFL Draft.