Dodd, who is from Byrnes High (Duncan, S.C.), leaves Saturday for Rutgers, will attend his first class next week and begin the summer workout program with his new teammates.
"Right now, I'm actually packing, getting everything ready and saying bye to everyone and hanging out with friends,'' Dodd said Thursday night. "I know it's going to be hard work, and I'm prepared for that. I'm just ready to get up there and get started, and looking forward to it.''
The adjustment to the speed of the game and the size of the playbook are two things that traditionally plague quarterbacks making the jump from high school to college, but Dodd believes he has on advantage to the latter.
The pro-style system he ran at Byrnes High is similar to what the Scarlet Knights operate, and Dodd noticed that during his week-long stint at Rutgers during spring practice.
"A bunch of the plays are the same,'' Dodd said. "It's not exactly the offense, but it's just me having to learn the calls and stuff like that. It's just learning the terminology.''
With a lack of depth at the quarterback position – Tom Savage and Steve Shimko are the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster – Dodd is expected to challenge for the backup role. Savage is the unquestioned starter, but coach Greg Schiano said at the end of spring practice there was competition for the backup role.
Shimko improved as the spring wore on, but Dodd will be in the mix. The question, though, is whether Dodd's frame – he is 6-foot, 194 pounds – will be much of a factor. He possesses above average arm strength and sees the field well. With coaching genes in his family tree, Dodd also brings a coach's outlook to the position. But finding passes lanes will be imperative since Dodd isn't big enough to throw over the line of scrimmage.
"I know Shimko and Tommy are good quarterbacks,'' Dodd said. "I'm just hoping to come in and try to learn my plays. I'm going to compete when I go in there. I don't know how it's going to turn out.
"I'm going to come in and do my best, and if coach thinks I'm doing good and I get moved up (on the depth chart) whatever. But I'm just coming in to do my best, learn everything and make sure I get everything done.''
Dodd got a head start in the spring when he and his family traveled north to spend a week at practice. He met with the coaching staff, stood 10 feet from the quarterbacks on the practice field and watched plenty of film. He was also able to glean information from Savage and Shimko, and he took those notes back to South Carolina to study them in an effort to be more prepared come fall camp.
"I learned a good bit,'' Dodd said. "I learned about the work ethic of the whole team. Not just the coaches, but how hard everyone went and from watching plays. I learned some calls and things like that. I was taking everything in and taking it back with me.''
Dodd, who graduated from high school Tuesday, added "I feel great'' when asked about his overall health.
He is confident and poised about making the move north, but there is one thing which raised his eyebrow.
"I've heard from everybody, people in college, people out of it, coaches …they tell me how different conditioning is, and lifting and everything,'' Dodd said. "So, that's probably the one thing that I'm going to be a little nervous about. But I think I know what I'll have to do to get ready, and I think I'll be ok.''