On National Signing Day, the All-State signal-caller finally ended the speculation by donning a Tennessee orange cap and tie while signing his letter-of-intent to play for the Volunteers.
“I went up on my visit and I was blown away by the football tradition they had there,” said Dobbs after signing his papers. “The opportunity to be a part of the program that coach [Butch] Jones is bringing to Tennessee is a great one along with the chance to study my major of Aeronautical Engineering and enjoy the tradition of a college town like Knoxville.”
Dobbs’ signing followed his visit to Knoxville Jan. 25 and an early commitment to Arizona State, where he went on an official visit Jan. 18.
He originally committed to the Sun Devils Jun. 13 following a stellar junior season at Alpharetta that saw him throw for 3,113 yards and 29 touchdowns.
National attention came to the 6-foot-4 gunslinger weeks later when he was named one of ESPN’s Elite 11 quarterbacks in July and the offers rolled in from Arkansas, Maryland, Illinois, Mississippi State and others through the summer of 2012 — but he didn’t waiver on Arizona State.
Back with Alpharetta in the fall, Dobbs led all of Class AAAAAA in passing with 3,625 yards and 29 touchdowns and the recruiting attention picked up again in December — when Tennessee hired Jones, who is known for running an up-tempo, quarterback-centric spread offense similar to what Dobbs thrived in at Alpharetta.
Jones and the Vols put a full-court recruiting press on Dobbs through January and into February and eventually convinced him to change his decision just in the nick of time.
“I can’t say that it wasn’t stressful, especially over the last few weeks when things really got hectic,” said Dobbs, who notified Jones of his decision the Tuesday before signing. “I just tried to keep my mind focused through the whole thing and remain thankful that so many schools had interest in me.
“The process was bitter-sweet, but I am happy it’s over and happy I’m going to Tennessee.”
Jason Dukes, Dobbs’ coach for his two years at Alpharetta, said he expects his quarterback to blossom even more once he arrives in Knoxville this summer.
“The sky is the limit for Josh at Tennessee,” said Dukes, who played offensive line at Georgia Tech in the early 1990’s. “He one of the best high school players I’ve ever seen and that’s the God’s honest truth.
“When you combine his God-given ability, his work-ethic, his demeanor, his calmness under pressure…then his character and intelligence. I really see no limit to what he can accomplish on the field or accomplish in life.”