KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs received more preseason honors this week as the senior quarterback earned consideration for the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy preseason watch list on Wednesday and was named to the Davey O’Brien National Quaterback Award preseason watch list on Thursday.
Through the first two weeks in July, Dobbs now appears on three preseason ledgers after being selected to the Maxwell Award watch list on July 5.
While the Alpharetta, Georgia, native has thrilled Tennessee fans with his dynamic playmaking on the field, he has won the admiration of college football fans around the country through his dedication to community service and academic excellence. For those efforts, Dobbs’ name was included Wednesday among a record 88 players earning consideration for the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy. Known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to the player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Over his three years on Rocky Top, Dobbs has consistently ranked as one of the team leaders when it comes to community service. He has been active in numerous community service initiatives, including: Educators for Excellence – Reach Them to Teach Them, WomEngineers Day, the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon, Read Across America, Special Olympics Knoxville, Beads of Courage, and Habitat for Humanity.
The fourth-year signal caller has also struck multiple personal bonds with local youth. In the spring, Dobbs met with Morristown fifth grader Riley Ripley, an 11-year old girl diagnosed with alopecia with whom he had previously exchanged letters. Diagnosed with alopecia himself, Dobbs made himself available to offer advice and encouragement to Ripley as she experienced hair loss. Similarly, Dobbs became a local Twitter hero when, in the hours following the 2016 DISH Orange & White Game, he set out to find a young fan he had seen in a video on Twitter. In the video, a little boy walked home in tears after being unable to meet his hero at the Orange & White Game. Dobbs tweeted an apology, and before long, had personally tracked down the young fan, tweeting a photo of the two together as evidence. Also this spring, Dobbs teamed up with Special Spaces, a non-profit organization that creates dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses, to give 5-year old AJ Cucksey a Tennessee makeover.
In December, Dobbs was named to the 2015 SEC Community Service Team and on April 4, he was honored with the Peach of an Athlete Role Model Award by the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Peach of an Athlete Role Model Award is presented to athletes, both amateur and professional, who exemplify good character and athletic achievement. Dobbs was one of two amateur honorees of the Peach of an Athlete Award alongside professional winner Dikembe Mutombo, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA.
Alongside his work in the community, Dobbs’ academic prowess is well-documented. An aerospace engineering major with a business administration minor, Dobbs has logged time over the past two summers as an intern with Pratt & Whitney — an aerospace manufacturer specializing in aircraft engines. This past summer, Dobbs interned at the Canadian branch in Montreal. Additionally, Dobbs has been a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll each of the last three seasons.
Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a National Selection Committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.
The formal announcement of the 2016 recipient will be on December 6 at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City.
The presentation of the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 48th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 10, 2017 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Dobbs’ on-field play has also garnered preseason attention, evidenced in his inclusion among 30 of the nation’s top quarterbacks named to the 2016 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List on Thursday. Compiled by a subset of the Davey O’Brien National Selection Committee, this year’s list was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2016 college football season. All nominees are required to have previously started at least one game at their current institution.
Dobbs started all 13 games for the Vols last season and is 14-5 in his last 19 starts. During that span, Tennessee has averaged 34.2 points and more than 424 yards of total offense per game. Last season, he threw for 2,291 yards and 15 touchdowns while also rushing for 671 yards — the most ever by a quarterback at Tennessee. Dobbs is one of just three SEC quarterbacks in the last 20 years to have 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in the same game — joining Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow — having accomplished that feat twice over the past two seasons.
This is the second straight season that Dobbs has been included on the preseason watch list for the Davey O’Brien Award.
The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation’s best college quarterback and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award. The Davey O’Brien Award honors candidates who exemplify Davey O’Brien’s enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics. The award is overseen by the Davey O’Brien Foundation, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and has given away nearly $1 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field into leadership in life.
The 40th Annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner will be held Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Fort Worth, Texas.