Joshua Dobbs says goodbye to Tennessee football in Players‘ Tribune essay

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Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs raises his arms in victory after the Vols beat Florida 38-28 on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2016, at Neyland Stadium, ending an 11-game losing streak to the Gators.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs, right, is congratulated by a fan after Tennessee‘s 49-36 win over Kentucky last Saturday at Neyland Stadium.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs runs with the ball against Kentucky during the first half on Nov. 12, 2016, at Neyland Stadium.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) celebrates a 1-yard run for a touchdown against Kentucky during the first half Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, at Neyland Stadium.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11), center, celebrates a 1 yard run for a touchdown against Kentucky during the first half at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) during a run in the first half against Kentucky in Neyland Stadium Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 in Knoxville, Tenn.  MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) runs with the ball during the first half at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.   MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) during the first half at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016.   MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) and wide receiver Josh Malone (3) celebrate at the end of the first period against Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs, right, hands the ball off to Tennessee running back Carlin Fils-Aime during the first half against Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, at Neyland Stadium.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) looks for an open receiver during the game against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 5, 2016.  SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs stretches during practice on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016.  CAITIE MCMEKIN/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) stretches during a practice at University of Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2016.   CAITIE MCMEKIN/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) sprints down the field before being called back due to a penalty during the first half of the game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.   CAITIE MCMEKIN/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs sprints down the field during the first half against South Carolina on Saturday in Columbia, S.C.  CAITIE MCMEKIN/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) carries the ball to the end zone, but was called back on a penalty, during the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.   AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Alabama linebacker Tim Williams (56) sneaks up on Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) during the second half at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016.   MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) is pressured by Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93), center, and linebacker Christian Miller (47) on Oct. 15, 2016.  Saul Young / Knoxville News Sentinel Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11), right, and Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara (6) at practice on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)   Saul Young, Knoxville News Sentinel Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) is grabbed by Texas A&M defensive lineman Christian Johnson during the first half of the game against Texas A&M on Saturday, October 8, 2016. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)   Saul Young, Knoxville News Sentinel Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) calling an audible during their 34-31 win over Georgia at Sanford Stadium Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 in Athens, Ga.   (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL) Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) run during first half action against Florida Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.   (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL) Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs (11) looks to pass during the first half at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.   (CAITIE MCMEKIN/NEWS SENTINEL) Joshua Dobbs eludes a Kentucky tackler last season.  NEWS SENTINEL

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Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs holds the MVP trophy after the Vols‘ 38-24 win over Nebraska in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium on Friday in Nashville.(Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

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Quarterback Joshua Dobbs said goodbye to the Tennessee football program and its fans on Tuesday in a that was posted on The Players‘ Tribune website.

“Even though I will be around campus one more semester to complete my final six hours, this still feels like goodbye,” Dobbs wrote. “It’s weird knowing that I won’t be going to another UT practice or walk-through. One of my favorite things about playing football here was coming into the locker room after a long day of classes, relaxing, and then going out and working on my craft with the people I love, my brothers.”

A leader on and off the field for the Vols, Dobbs recently completed a record-setting four-year career at UT and is preparing to participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 28-March 6.

In his essay – titled “Goodbye, Tennessee” – Dobbs explained his feelings during his Hail Mary pass to Jauan Jennings with no time remaining to beat Georgia 34-31 last October in Sanford Stadium.

“A Hail Mary for the win in a rivalry game as time runs out – it is the stuff you dream about when you grow up playing football,” Dobbs wrote. “You play it out in your backyard or on Madden. But those are just dreams and video games. This was real.”

Dobbs explained how he decided to attend Tennessee and the lengthy recruiting visit by coach Butch Jones and his staff.

“When I reported to Knoxville to start classes and team workouts that summer, it felt like home almost immediately,” Dobbs wrote. “Whether I was hiking the Bluffs, sitting in Econ 201 in the Haslam College of Business, or just meeting new people from across the country and the world, there was something about the place that seemed … right.”

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Dobbs reminisced about his first snap during his freshman year against Alabama.

“I was young and inexperienced, but for a freshman who had been thrown into the lineup against the No. 1 team in the nation in the second half of a 45–10 blowout … well, there are definitely worse ways to start a career,” he wrote.

He revealed his emotions during his first game starting at Neyland Stadium against No. 7 Auburn.

“I get it, everyone says that their stadium is the loudest and that their fans are the best. But Neyland Stadium — and the die-hard Vol fans who wear orange and white and pack it 102,455 strong every weekend — make it a really special place to play football,” Dobbs wrote.

Citing former UT quarterback greats like Condredge Holloway, Peyton Manning, Heath Shuler and Tee Martin, Dobbs said he took great pride in representing UT and using the platform he was given for good.

“Kids come up to me now and tell me they want to be like me when they grow up. I can’t even describe how humbling that is, and it makes the work I do in the community – spending time with my buddy AJ Cucksey, who is battling cancer; meeting with kids who, like me, have alopecia; and helping Beads of Courage, which honors children who are facing serious illnesses – all the more important.” Dobbs wrote.

As he ended his essay, Dobbs vowed to continue using his role to be a positive force in society.

“Whatever the next chapter of my life may hold in store, I’m committed to being a positive influence in my community and to those around me – and hopefully continuing to make Tennessee proud,” Dobbs wrote.

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