Now they aren’t, and it isn’t the worst thing.
“It’s kind of like a relief, because you don’t have to worry about pressure,” Dobbs said. “Everything that Navy has demanded of me, it’s like that burden is lifted off my shoulders. It’s like I can breathe now for a little bit and relax and just have fun. It’s a relief because being hit as many times as I’ve been hit, I don’t see how one could miss that. Right now, I don’t miss it at all.”
Maybe in the fall the yearning to play will return. It’s probably inevitable for a guy who led Navy to victories over both Army and Notre Dame in consecutive seasons.
But the totality of experience will trump any fleeting pangs then.
“I think I definitely wouldn’t have been all the places I’ve been or seen the things that I’ve seen if I didn’t come here because I feel like I’ve seen more than the star quarterbacks at any other school,” Dobbs said. “More than Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, any guy you name, I feel like I’ve seen a whole lot more in my four years here just with the experience that the Navy brings. It’s pretty much the same for my future, too.”
“Somebody asked me would I do it again,” Dobbs said. “Probably not. The only way I would do it again is if that was the only way I could learn the things that I learned.”
He smiled. He understood the paradox. It would have been more relaxed elsewhere. An easier path, less attention, more in line with an average college experience.
But those lessons weren’t available elsewhere. Ricky Dobbs wouldn’t be Ricky Dobbs if he didn’t spend four years at the academy - or be as prepared as he is to continue on an arc most star college quarterbacks would ever consider accepting.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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