A mother's love

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First-team All-State Class 6A by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award winner, Elite 11 finalist, Georgia Rising Senior Bowl Offensive MVP and on top of all that — a 4.0 student.

That is one heck of a résumé that Tennessee quarterback signee Joshua Dobbs has put together for himself. And no one could be more proud at his accomplishments than his mother, Stephanie.

"Words can't express how proud we are of him, but we are even more humbled at the type of kid that he is," she told InsideTennessee. "He sets goals, works hard to achieve them and he is focused in trying to do so.

"As we close this chapter on the recruiting aspect, we look back and are really amazed at the journey he has gone through. To see him stay the same kid that he was as a 5-year-old starting to play football, having that type of passion for the sport and that type of commitment to attempting to be the best, it has been great."

Dobbs, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback, was originally committed to Arizona State before taking an official visit to Rocky Top on Jan. 25 under new head coach Butch Jones.

"We are absolutely elated that he is going to be a part of the Tennessee team and the Tennessee family," Stephanie Dobbs said. "The opportunity to get up there and meet the new coaching staff really gave us assurances as a parent that we are putting him in good hands and at Tennessee he can achieve everything he desires, both athletically and most importantly academically."

For Stephanie and husband Robert Dobbs, watching Joshua undergo an extremely successful senior season, which saw him throw for 3,625 yards and 29 touchdowns and add 419 yards, 10 touchdowns on the ground, athletic success and recruiting was a whole new animal for their family.

Dobbs underwent a monster senior season accounting for 39 touchdowns.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)

"Josh was an only child and neither my husband nor I played sports beyond recreation and things of that nature, nor do we have a family member that is in sports, so for us it was hit the road running in terms of learning," she said. "Needless to say it was very overwhelming at times, but we tried to step back and consider that it was an honor to have any opportunity to continue to play sports.

"We always stressed academics and made Josh aware that they are the key to his success and if he works hard at that and sports that it would open all types of doors. It was quite apparent in the recruiting process that that was very much the case. While it may have been overwhelming, as a family, we were able to navigate our way through the process knowing what our goal was — find a place that fits him well where he can achieve his academic goals and his athletics dreams. Tennessee just fits that bill."

For Dobbs, an Alpharetta, Ga., native, his goals extend far beyond the football field. For the future aeronautical engineering major and his family, getting a look at the new five-story, 110,000-square-foot John Tickle Engineering Building was key during his visit to Knoxville.

"It is difficult to find the aeronautical engineering degree at the undergraduate level," she said. "During the visit we had we were able to really get a sense of the direction that the school is going in that area. To see all the infrastructure improvements in the engineering building were quite impressive."

As the No. 12 quarterback in the 2013 class according to FOX Sports NEXT, Dobbs and his family enjoyed one big selling point in the Vol For Life program, which was a unique feature to the Tennessee program.

"Seeing the Vol For Life program, in the short time that we have an opportunity to learn about it, it is quite apparent that it is beyond thinking about athletes," she said. "It is thinking about the support it offers as an actual student and the direction of grooming and helping the kids to understand their roles as student-athletes first. That is the message that I got out of Vol For Life. So the fact that there is a program that gives support after college is just icing on the cake."

And while Tennessee did one heck of a job selling their program, it never hurts for a mother to be a little bit closer to her child.

"We were committed from the beginning to travel to wherever he chose to go to school," she said. "However, as parent, being here in Atlanta it does make it more convenient knowing that it won't require a flight every trip and we can get to every game. It is reassuring and even more so if he needs us to be able to get out of town and get there. While it wasn't the primary decision maker it was definitely a factor."

Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.com.


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