As a Vol, quarterback Josh Dobbs put together the best season of his career on the field in 2016. Dobbs set career highs in passing yards, rushing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, pass completions, and yards per attempt as a senior last season.
But all that success didn’t come easy. In fact, 2016 was the most trying year for Dobbs in his career.
In an interview with Teresa Varley for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ official website, Dobbs said that 2016 was the most difficult year he’s ever had off the field.
When Dobbs was asked what his proudest football moment was, he replied with the 2016 season. But not in the way you might expect.
“This season, my senior year, was the most difficult off the field, in the classroom,” Dobbs replied. “So winning SEC player of the year on the field, while balancing my most difficult school semester is something I am very proud of.”
Dobbs was named the Athlon SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2016 after putting together a career year with the Vols. And he was able to do all that while taking a demanding course load as an aerospace engineer.
But Dobbs is already enjoying the freedom the NFL provides him when it comes to focusing solely on football and not classes.
“It’s been cool just focusing on football,” Dobbs said. “It’s crazy how many hours are in the day when you don’t have school…Now being professional, being able to take care of my body, have time to learn the playbook, being able to just focus on football is a lot of fun. I really enjoy it.”
Although he no longer has to take classes along with practicing for football, Dobbs acknowledged that all his academic work and preparation have bled over and helped him in football as well.
“It helps a lot,” Dobbs said of his academic background. “Just the habits and structure and discipline it took to be successful in the classroom it took pursuing a strenuous and difficult degree, it’s the same as a quarterback, the same structure and discipline in the classroom and on the field.
“You might be taking the same drops over and over, but you are building habits that are going to help you on Sunday. That discipline, structure, and learning how to be successful in the classroom have helped me on the field.”
That dedication and impressive senior season stood out to the Steelers, and it’s why the franchise selected Dobbs with the 135th overall pick in the fourth round of this year’s draft. The Steelers won’t expect much from Dobbs as a rookie this season, but the tools he already has are serving him well for his future with the team.