'Persistence' flips Joshua Dobbs from Arizona State to Tennessee

UT has four quarterbacks on scholarship

Jonathan Phillips/Special to the News Sentinel
Seated between his father, Robert, and mother, Stephanie, Alpharetta High School quarterback Joshua Dobbs signs his letter of intent to play football at Tennessee on Wednesday in Alpharetta, Ga. Dobbs picked the Vols over Arizona State.

Photo by Jonathan Phillips

Jonathan Phillips/Special to the News Sentinel Seated between his father, Robert, and mother, Stephanie, Alpharetta High School quarterback Joshua Dobbs signs his letter of intent to play football at Tennessee on Wednesday in Alpharetta, Ga. Dobbs picked the Vols over Arizona State.

Joshua Dobbs signs with Tennessee

Butch Jones' staff flips eight players in all

When Tyler Bray left Tennessee a year early for the NFL draft, he also left the Vols with just two scholarship quarterbacks on the current roster.

So new coach Butch Jones and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian set about adding a second quarterback to their 2013 signing class.

The Vols already had Riley Ferguson, a longtime commitment from North Carolina who had impressed former coordinator Jim Chaney. The second target was a lanky, four-star prospect from suburban Atlanta who planned on going to Arizona State.

How did the Vols land Joshua Dobbs in the final days of the 2013 recruiting season?

"Persistence," Jones said.

UT wanted Dobbs badly. Coaches spent three hours at his home, convincing him to take an official visit. During the visit, they rolled out the red carpet, arranged for members of the engineering department to speak to him about his preferred major and talked enough football to convince Dobbs and his parents that Tennessee was the right fit.

"Our offense fits his skill set," Jones said.

Coaches said the same thing about Ferguson, but the arrival of two freshmen quarterbacks — one largely recruited by the old staff, and one recruited entirely by a new staff and its new offense — will create an interesting dynamic this summer.

Although the Vols made no secret of their pursuit of Dobbs, Ferguson said in an interview with WNML Wednesday that he didn't know UT had signed a second quarterback.

"There's competition everywhere, so just go in and work to get the job," Ferguson said.

Tennessee's two other quarterbacks — junior

Justin Worley and redshirt freshman Nathan Peterman — were already expected to battle for the starting job this year. Jones said the two freshmen will get a chance to compete, as well.

"I tell all of the individuals that I want them coming in with the mentality that they are going to play. I think that is extremely healthy," Jones said. "We never promise anybody playing time. What we do promise them is the opportunity to compete."

Christian Academy of Knoxville quarterback Charlie High will be a preferred walk-on.

Jones said Ferguson's competitive fire was what he liked the most after he watched his film.

"We went back and watched everything," Jones said. "I love everything he's about. I believe he's only lost one football game in his career as a starting quarterback. We went and watched him practice basketball; he's extremely competitive. We're excited about him."

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 15

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

I see a couple of QB transfers in our near future. Vols recent non mobile QB's equaled SEC championships. Vols last mobile QB equaled a National Championship. Just sayin... Great job by our new staff on pulling in this quality young man and all the others!! GBO!!!

easleychuck writes:

I appreciate all of the hard work put in by Coach Butch Jones and his staff. What they did in a short amount of time was a tremendous achievement.

That being said I hope that some of the recruits that yanked UT around (specifically the Trey Johnson / Vonn Bell charade) for really no good reason, have to endure seeing the Vols return to prominence.

I will be pulling against everything associated with ohio state with even more fervor than in the past. Hopefully, karma is a female dog.

FWBVol writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

I see a couple of QB transfers in our near future. Vols recent non mobile QB's equaled SEC championships. Vols last mobile QB equaled a National Championship. Just sayin... Great job by our new staff on pulling in this quality young man and all the others!! GBO!!!

Football is the ultimate team sport and your statement about mobile or non mobile quarterbacks is a bit incomplete.

Heath Shuler was a mobile quarterback for Tennessee and he didn't even win a SEC championship. Jimmy Streater was a guy that could flat out run and throw, but there were no titles during his stay as the UT starting quarterback. Condredge Holloway was a one-man show running and passing, but he didn't win a National Title either.

Tee Martin was a great quarterback for us and he had an outstanding run as the starter. There's no doubt he did some things with his legs that put us in a position to win some games in 1998, but without Al Wilson leading the defense or the timely kicking of Jeff Hall in clutch situations Tee might have suffered the fate of Manning and the others.

Alabama has won under Saban with dropback passers. Yes, the guys can move out of danger, but they aren't going to blow you away with their ability to run the football.

With linebackers running 4.4 and 4.5 40s and defensive ends running the 40 in 4.6 or 4.7 quickness and elusiveness is as important as pure speed because the great defenses recruit speed guys that can catch the fastest quarterbacks a large part of the time.

fabiofive148 writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Football is the ultimate team sport and your statement about mobile or non mobile quarterbacks is a bit incomplete.

Heath Shuler was a mobile quarterback for Tennessee and he didn't even win a SEC championship. Jimmy Streater was a guy that could flat out run and throw, but there were no titles during his stay as the UT starting quarterback. Condredge Holloway was a one-man show running and passing, but he didn't win a National Title either.

Tee Martin was a great quarterback for us and he had an outstanding run as the starter. There's no doubt he did some things with his legs that put us in a position to win some games in 1998, but without Al Wilson leading the defense or the timely kicking of Jeff Hall in clutch situations Tee might have suffered the fate of Manning and the others.

Alabama has won under Saban with dropback passers. Yes, the guys can move out of danger, but they aren't going to blow you away with their ability to run the football.

With linebackers running 4.4 and 4.5 40s and defensive ends running the 40 in 4.6 or 4.7 quickness and elusiveness is as important as pure speed because the great defenses recruit speed guys that can catch the fastest quarterbacks a large part of the time.

yada, yada, yada, Big tide didnt catch Johnny football did they?

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to fabiofive148:

yada, yada, yada, Big tide didnt catch Johnny football did they?

No, but Florida and LSU did. A lot of teams were able to shut down RG3 weren't they? Perhaps you think if we had Johnny football then we would have beat Bama? If you do, then you're an idiot. A good defense and a DC that can make adjustments can shut down a mobile QB.

kd45music writes:

Don't count Charlie High out just yet. The kid is a winner and he just might surprise some folks. He's a dark horse, but that's to his advantage.

dcap8424 writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

I see a couple of QB transfers in our near future. Vols recent non mobile QB's equaled SEC championships. Vols last mobile QB equaled a National Championship. Just sayin... Great job by our new staff on pulling in this quality young man and all the others!! GBO!!!

Our last mobile QB (Brent Shafer) didn't win much of anything before he transferred. I guess you're referring to Tee Martin, but he wasn't our last mobile QB.

greatdaysahead writes:

I wonder how many people have seen Dobbs play. This kid can make some serious plays. I am no evaluator, but I watch enough football to know what excites me and Dobbs certainly does. He's super calm in the pocket and will stare down the barrel if he's confident he's got his man. I'm not sure if he has the arm strength of Bray, but he's not far behind and has more mobility and I think more poise on the field (and definitely more maturity) than Bray showed. That being said, Dobbs has never played SEC football, but, like I said, this kid is someone we should all be excited to see suit up.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to kd45music:

Don't count Charlie High out just yet. The kid is a winner and he just might surprise some folks. He's a dark horse, but that's to his advantage.

I was all in favor of bringing in High, but that horse just got a little darker with Dobbs coming in. He is supposed to be a really smart guy who wants to major in aero-space engineering as well as a great QB. We'll see. Charlie would be a great story if he ever even earns a scholarship, but I think he will be more likely to transfer in a year or two than he will be to actually play for the Vols. Maybe he will prove all of us wrong. People who know him say he is a really great kid.

clinton_vol writes:

This is a great get. This kid is going to be big time. Very smart and capable of making quick decisions. Reminds me a lot of Manning.

arkyvol writes:

in response to VolsUpsetYetAnother:

I see a couple of QB transfers in our near future. Vols recent non mobile QB's equaled SEC championships. Vols last mobile QB equaled a National Championship. Just sayin... Great job by our new staff on pulling in this quality young man and all the others!! GBO!!!

there was a heck of a lot more to that team than the q.b.'s wheels (which i don't remember as being particularly impressive anyway.)

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to easleychuck:

I appreciate all of the hard work put in by Coach Butch Jones and his staff. What they did in a short amount of time was a tremendous achievement.

That being said I hope that some of the recruits that yanked UT around (specifically the Trey Johnson / Vonn Bell charade) for really no good reason, have to endure seeing the Vols return to prominence.

I will be pulling against everything associated with ohio state with even more fervor than in the past. Hopefully, karma is a female dog.

Vonn Bell didn't yank around the UT staff. The previous coaching staff was late, slow, and unresponsive for nearly 12 months of the recruiting process. It was only the last two months that the new coaching staff got engaged.

Vonn Bell gave UT every chance to get his signature. But it was too late to make up so much ground.

Maybe your feelings were hurt, chuck. Grow up.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Vonn Bell didn't yank around the UT staff. The previous coaching staff was late, slow, and unresponsive for nearly 12 months of the recruiting process. It was only the last two months that the new coaching staff got engaged.

Vonn Bell gave UT every chance to get his signature. But it was too late to make up so much ground.

Maybe your feelings were hurt, chuck. Grow up.

OK, I think I see what you are saying, and I was as mad as anybody else at the way Dooley apparently dropped the ball in recruiting this kid. I don't even begrudge him choosing OSU over UT if that is where he thought he would be comfortable. I still wonder about why--if he didn't like being ignored by Dooley despite a lifelong preference for UT, but he DID like Jones and staff--that he would allow Meyer and OSU to just swoop in and turn his head in a matter of weeks. After all, Meyer was out of football for a year before going to OSU last year. Was he recruiting Bell and forming this deep, longstanding relationship when he didn't even have a JOB? Even if he started recruiting Bell as soon as he got the OSU job, he only had a few months headstart on Jones. If he started recruiting Bell when he was still at Florida, I could believe that he just picked up where he left off before, but I surely haven't heard anything about that. The inescapable conclusion is that all the stuff about "UT just got in on me too late" was just a smokescreen, or he is a total prima-donna. I'm not accusing either way, but sometimes kids in this situation just say too much that defies belief.

SeaBassHauling writes:

Thanks Tyler ( don't throw the bottle ) Bray....!!! I wished you could've grown up and became a leader but you didn't....I seen in some of your pics that I came across while you were in high school.How you loved to party and the pics seem to show up....man you sure were thinking about college weren't you...?!!! A passer you maybe but your leader skills doesn't cut it....Sooooooo thank you for leaving early...!!!....LOL...One we have a young man coming in that doesn't like to lose or quit in ferguson....Two we have another young and brilliant young man coming in that's more mature than you are now in your life...!!! Both of them are leaders and don't like to lose...competitors....Sooooooo Thank......U...!!!

SeaBassHauling writes:

Just for the record for the fans out there....I was hoping I was wrong worrying about Bray. With what i seen in those pics of him in high school....!!! He was a fan of Peyton's and was hoping for the best...But to own any of Peyton's records in my opinion and the character that he carried doesn't bold well based on his ability to be the QB....Leader of the TEAM....! I'm sorry to feel this way but he ended up proving it and I didnt want to end up feeling like this about the guy...!!!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features