"They were very thorough in making sure that Tim's going to graduate," said Co-Lin's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Paul Purvis. "They checked with the admissions office, his advisors and counselors to make sure he was on track, and doing what needed to be done to graduate. Coach Cross was very thorough and went through everything to make sure.
"Tim's very anxious to make any kind of contribution he can to Iowa State program and is excited for the opportunity. He wants to earn his way in and believes in what they do on defense. He wants to prove to everyone up there he can play football."
With the amount of interest Dobbins received in the Southeast and West Coast, it's pretty clear Dobbins can play the game of football. Although Dobbins' coach would not discuss the specific teams his linebacker had offers from, Purvis said he was coveted by plenty of Division I programs.
But many schools wanted Dobbins enrolled and ready for spring ball, which wasn't possible as he needed a few more spring classes to graduate. That didn't hurt the Cyclones' case. But academics weren't the biggest reason ISU scored big with the Co-Lin linebacker. It started with DeMontie Cross' work on the recruiting trail.
"When he came down here and talked to him, Tim was very excited," Purvis said. "The two of them had a good bond. Coach Cross is the guy that came in and sold Tim on the program. Iowa State started off early and stayed with him the entire way.
"When he got to visit, he really felt at home up there and liked the style of football that was being played. He enjoyed the people and community up there."
Dobbins projects as an impact middle linebacker that stands a good chance of hitting the field in 2004.
"He had a great year and has good vision, moves sideline to sideline very well and is just a very physical linebacker overall," Purvis said. "We even put him on the edge sometimes and let him rush the quarterback, because he has such good speed. He knows formations, tendencies and made the checks for us."
Purvis also noted that his star linebacker made great strides in his knowledge of the game between the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
"He's a very good student of the ballgame," Purvis said. "The biggest difference is his freshman year he had a pretty good season, but knew he had more to do. This past summer he put together a plan to improve himself in every facet. He took charge and we're proud of that. He became a better football player and more knowledgeable. He had all of the tools already, but as far as what he did improving was his knowledge of the game at the position he's in."