Where does Josh Dobbs’ four-year pilgrimage through Knoxville fit in Tennessee lore?
If you ask his teammates, they’ll tell you he’ll be remembered here forever. They’ll tell you his presence will be felt inside the walls of Neyland Stadium for years to come. Teammates of all ages, players on both offense and defense, praised Dobbs’ character and leadership Saturday after he led Tennessee to a 63-37 throttling of Missouri.
Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns against Missouri, the same team he faced in his first start as a Vol in 2013. Dobbs is the fourth quarterback in SEC history to post 50+ pass touchdowns and 25+ rush touchdowns, joining Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel and Dak Prescott. He’s also the fifth quarterback in Tennessee to throw for at least 50 touchdowns in his career.
“He’s going to go down as one of the best,” junior offensive lineman Brett Kendrick said after the game Saturday. “I’ve never been more proud of a kid in my life, so he’s going to go down as one of the best, I think.”
Yes, by now we all know about his aerospace engineering major. We know he’s a smart guy, with a hard work ethic. We know he comes from a good family – his parents were on hand to witness his final news conference inside Neyland Stadium – and is highly regarded for his character.
What we learned Saturday is the Tennessee football program and its fans will remember Josh Dobbs’ tenure at Tennessee fondly. They’ll remember him as part of the core that brought Tennessee football back to national relevance.
He will, as Kendrick put it, go down as one of the best to play on Rocky Top.
“He has all my respect,” sophomore defensive back Rashaan Gaulden said. “Him putting his body on the line each and every week. The way he runs. He’s fearless. He jumps over the piles. He does whatever he has to do to lead us. Just having him here, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”