During what was billed as a “fireside chat” with Eastman Chemical Co. executive Mark Cox, Dobbs said he often got to meet National Football League legend and former Tennessee Vols quarterback Peyton Manning and be around another former Vols quarterback, Condredge Holloway, the first African-American quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.
But the best moment, said Dobbs, was the Hail Mary pass to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens as time expired last October.
“Coach (Butch Jones after the game) said ‘You guys must be living right,’” Dobbs related.
Cox’ Eastman Employee Center conversation with Dobbs, an aerospace engineering student expected to graduate in May, was to highlight Eastman’s celebration of Black History Month.
Dobbs talked about his Christian faith and balancing academics with football.
“It’s very helpful to have two supportive parents (Robert and Stephanie Dobbs, who came to the event),” Dobbs said. “ … What they did was allow me to find myself, and find what passion I had. They taught me how to approach each day, how to stay humble.”
During a media availability with local reporters, Dobbs was asked who has the best chance to be the starting quarterback next fall, and he noted it will be a battle similar to what he experienced his freshman and sophomore years.
“You’ve got Sheriron (Jones), you’ve got Quentin (Dormandy), you’ve got Jarrett (Guarantano), all battling it out, and I know whoever emerges as the starter will definitely take the torch and take care of business,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs also was asked whether Eastman might be a future employer.
“I’ve known (former Tennessee defensive back and Dobyns-Bennett High School graduate) Malik (Foreman) since my freshman year, and I’ve come to Kingsport a couple times,” he responded. “The Eastman plant, you really can’t miss it when coming to Kingsport. It’s an honor to be here and be part of this event tonight … there’s a lot of opportunities working with Eastman … you never know what the future holds … we’ll see.”
Dobbs said he is headed to the National Football League Combine on Tuesday to showcase his skills before other potential employers.
“I’m going to play football as long as I can,” he told reporters. “ … It really is a journey going through each drill and performing and executing … everyone is striving for a job at the next level.”