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Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs balances an aerospace engineering major while trying to win the starting quarterback job

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
Tennessee v Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 30: Joshua Dobbs #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers throws a pass during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The “dumb athlete” stereotype does not apply to Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Dobbs, who will be a sophomore next season, started four games for the Volunteers last season and is a part of a four-way competition for the starting job in 2014, but that’s not all that’s on Dobbs’ plate.

Dobbs is an aerospace engineering major, and in an interview with CBSSports’ Bruce Feldman, Dobbs detailed his rigorous coursework on top of his work on the football field and in the weight room. Impressive is an understatement.

Just this semester he is taking Materials Science and Engineering, Honors Physics of Engineers II, Honors Calculus III and Honors Cultural Anthropology. He’s also taking a yoga class to help with his flexibility.

This class schedule, plus offseason practice and workouts make means Dobbs is putting in a 17-hour work day Monday through Friday. In Dobbs’ own words, here’s what it looks like:

A typical day for the spring semester:

    • Starts at about 7:00 a.m. with breakfast
    • Class starts at 8 a.m. on Tues. and Thurs. and at 9 a.m. on Mon., Wed., and Fri.
    • Classes go until about until 2:30 p.m.
    • I squeeze in lunch
    • Football film study, workouts, meetings, and/or independent throwing from about 3 until 7 p.m.
    • After dinner, I complete the day at the Thornton Academic Center from 7:30 to about 10 p.m.
    • Return to my room to finish homework and prepare to start the routine over for the next day
    • I try to get to bed by midnight


Dobbs told Feldman that he doesn’t think his demanding course load makes being a quarterback in the SEC any more difficult. In fact, he says his busy schedule has “helped (his) overall mental conditioning.”

Once the season and the fall semester rolls around, Dobbs will begin taking more classes closely associated with the aerospace engineering program. From taking advanced placement courses in high school, he already had close to 30 credits when he arrived at Tennessee, so he is well on his way to achieving his undergraduate degree early.

Dobbs is an extremely impressive young man, and the rest of the interview in which he details where his fascination with aerospace engineering originated and how he manages his schedule is well worth a read.

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