When quarterback Josh Dobbs arrived at the University of Tennessee in 2013, the Volunteers were mired in 5-7 seasons.
Dobbs wound up guiding the Vols to three bowl triumphs and a pair of 9-4 records while also studying to be an aerospace engineer, and now he has turned his attention to April's NFL draft. The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder fared quite well at last month's NFL combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds and posting a 33-inch vertical jump, and he will go through Tennessee's pro day on March 31.
It's an interesting time for Dobbs, who was a guest Tuesday on "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 FM.
Q: What was the biggest surprise you encountered at the combine?
A: "I had been told before the combine to expect a lack of sleep throughout the weekend in Indianapolis. I may have gotten 16 hours of sleep, and that includes the eight I had the first night I was there, because I got there a day early. So those other eight hours were over two or three days, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"If you want to stay ahead of schedule on interviews and drug testing, you have to get going early. There were days I woke up at 4 a.m. and went to bed at midnight."
Q: How do you believe you stacked up against Deshaun Watson and some of the other quarterbacks?
A: "I actually wasn't on the field throwing at the same time as him, but I have a lot of respect for all the other competitors. That said,when I step on the field, I feel like I'm the best at the end of the day. I had a fantastic showing and put up some great numbers both throwing and in the measurables."
Q: What have you been told to work on during this time between the combine and pro day?
A: "Scouts just want me to continue to have productive showings. I had a productive showing at the combine and a productive showing at the Senior Bowl before that. They just want me to be myself, so we'll see where this all takes us at the end of April."
Q: You've been selected for Jon Gruden's quarterback camp on ESPN. Are you ready for some praise and constructive criticism?
A: "I'm just ready for the opportunity. I know he's going to talk about the success I was able to have at Tennessee and the toughness I was able to show, and he may bring out the lowlights like he always does, but all of those lowlights are learning opportunities. I actually head down there tomorrow."
Q: Given your profile at Tennessee, did you ever wish for a day on campus in which you weren't recognized?
A: "I wouldn't want to have done it any other way. I put in a lot of hard work to get the opportunity I had at Tennessee, and every day I woke up, I was thankful. When I went out, there were times I had to take a couple of pictures and sign a couple of autographs, but they were fans, and a lot of people don't have the opportunity to experience that."
Q: Does Butch Jones speak to players the same way he speaks to the media?
A: "Coach Jones has a lot of passion for Tennessee as a football program and for us as players, and that's how he came across to us. He has a lot of slogans and things, but when you look into the deeper meaning of them, they all come true in the end, whether you come out victorious or on the other end.
"He's obviously coached a lot of football and has been successful, and as a player you just try to take in as much as you can."
Q: Did you have a favorite NFL team growing up?
A: "Being from the Atlanta area, I went to Falcons games when I was in elementary and middle school, but once I got to middle school I really just became a fan of the game. I watched everybody, because I wanted to understand the game even more. I wanted Atlanta to pull out the Super Bowl, but it was an excellent game and a thrill to watch."
Q: When will you know that it's time to move on from football and pursue what you studied in Knoxville?
A: "The timetable is until I can't walk anymore. I want to play football as long as I can. I've been successful at every level, and I know I can be successful at this level."
Q: Turning to our rapid fire, what was your favorite moment on the field at Tennessee?
A: "There were a ton of them, but my favorite would be the Hail Mary at the end of the Georgia game. That game was crazy and had ups and downs, and to come back on the road like that — I had never experienced anything like it."
Q: If someone on the street calls you a "Champion of Life," are you going to smile, laugh or get angry?
A: "I'm going to smile and keep walking."
Q: Who on the team this past season had the best Butch Jones impression?
A: "It might have been Alvin (Kamara). He's a funny dude."
Q: You're good at school and sports. What are you not very good at doing?
A: "I don't know. I only do stuff I'm good at."
Q: Today is national Pi day. How far can you take it?
A: "You're catching me off guard, but 3.14159265. That's all I can do right now."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.